CHENNAI: With 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans causing a lot of confusion among Chennaiites about the consumption of dietary cholesterol, the experts here talk in detail about some common safeguards to be kept in mind on food intake.
Recently, there was a message circulated on social media including Whats App that went viral on the dietary guidelines. According to the message, limiting cholesterol in the daily diet is not required as per the 2015 guidelines (for Americans). So enjoy whole milk, ice-cream with brownies, egg puffs, high fat meat, cheesy bursting pizzas and cheesaz, says the argument.
But the truth is the body uses cholesterol for physiological and structural functions. “The body makes more than enough for these purposes and hence, we do not need to obtain cholesterol through food,” says Dr Meenakshi Bajaj, dietician, Government Multi Super Speciality Hospital.
One of the key recommendations of the 2010 dietary guidelines to limit consumption of dietary cholesterol to 300 mg per day is not included in the 2015 edition. But this change does not suggest that dietary cholesterol is no longer important to consider in developing a healthy eating pattern.
“As recommended by the IOM (Institute of Medicine, US), we should eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible in our regular food intake,” adds Dr Meenakshi.
Several evidences prove that combining a healthy eating pattern with regular physical activity can help you achieve and maintain good health and reduce the risk of chronic disease through all stages of life. In general, food that’s high in dietary cholesterol, such as fatty meats and high-fat diary products are also higher in saturated fats. The current average intake of dietary cholesterol among those one year and older in the United States is roughly 270 mg per day.
The evidence from recent studies and randomised controlled trials have shown that eating patterns that include lower intake of dietary cholesterol are associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. Also, moderate evidence indicates these eating patterns are associated with reduced risk of obesity. More research is needed on the dose-response relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels. Adequate evidence is not available for a quantitative limit for dietary cholesterol specific to the dietary guidelines. Follow a diet pattern, tailor-made to your age, gender, family history and physical activity, says Menakshi Bajaj.
“You must also take into consideration factors like blood pressure and biochemical indices like blood sugar, lipid profile, renal health to select the right choice of healthy foods along with their right quantities,” she explains.