I guess the settled science on cholesterol, and all the dietary the advice premised on it, is not so settled. I can’t be sure, but I suspect that at least 97% of scientists a few years ago would have endorsed limiting cholesterol intake. But as all real scientists know, all previous scientific conclusions are subject to revision if new data comes in.
Thus, we learn via Peter Whoriskey in the Washington Post:
The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption.
The group’s finding that cholesterol in the diet need no longer be considered a “nutrient of concern” stands in contrast to the committee’s findings five years ago, the last time it convened. During those proceedings, as in previous years, the panel deemed the issue of excess cholesterol in the American diet a public health concern.
The finding follows an evolution of thinking among many nutritionists who now believe that, for healthy adults, eating foods high in cholesterol may not significantly affect the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease.
The greater danger in this regard, these experts believe, lies not in products such as eggs, shrimp or lobster, which are high in cholesterol, but in too many servings of foods heavy with saturated fats, such as fatty meats, whole milk, and butter.
So for the last 66 years, we have been acting on alarmism that turned out to lack a full scientific basis.
Cholesterol has been a fixture in dietary warnings in the United States at least since 1961, when it appeared in guidelines developed by the American Heart Association. Later adopted by the federal government, such warnings helped shift eating habits -- per capita egg consumption dropped about 30 percent -- and harmed egg farmers.
It is bad enough to harm entire industries. I am sure there are families that lost their livelihoods in the crash of egg consumption. Not to mention all those delicious breakfasts that were never eaten. But the harm to be done by CO2 restrictions the warmsts deman dwarfs the cholesterol warning’s impact. I hope that President-elect Trump notes the parallel here with global warming alarmism. It is a powerful point.
Hat tip: Clarice Feldman