Is Cholesterol Making a Comeback?

For years we’ve been told that eating foods high in cholesterol is a very bad thing. Concerns about heart health have banished the once-standard bacon and eggs breakfast to the doghouse, and filled us with dread at the thought of eating a sizzling steak dinner. Were we being misled?

Perhaps we were, according to some recent research.

Consumer market intelligence firm Packaged Facts recently reviewed the latest science on food and cholesterol, and found that some of the advice we’ve been given was simply wrong.

The company cites a report from Swiss banking firm Credit Suisse (Fat: The New Health Paradigm), which found that “eating cholesterol has basically no influence on the level of cholesterol in the blood or on potential heart diseases.”

Cholesterol Matters, But Avoiding It in Food May Not Be So Helpful

While cholesterol levels in blood do matter in terms of heart health, those levels are not necessarily swayed by avoiding foods high in cholesterol.

Credit Suisse based its conclusion on analysis of over 400 medical papers or books and two primary research surveys of doctors, nutritionists, and consumers, Packaged Facts reports.

This would seem to contradict the late-20th Century nutritional consensus that formed around the need to moderate consumption of fats and oils, and especially to minimize consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol.

As public health officials hammered on the need to avoid certain food ingredients, the food industry produced all manner of “reduced cholesterol” “low fat” and “fat free” offerings.

“Healthy Snack Food” Leads to Binging

What happened next was a great national binging on “healthier” foods, which led to even greater levels of obesity among the population.

Does all this mean that we should just go back to eating whatever we feel like eating? Not at all. What it means is that we should realize that there is no “get out of jail free” card when it comes to eating right.

Avoiding certain ingredients in foods may or may not be a wise, healthy choice – but over-indulging in foods deemed to be “healthier” will not necessarily do wonders for our health, or out waistlines.

Maybe the old adage of “everything in moderation” is the safest bet, after all.

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