The soon-to-be-published dietary guidelines put out by the US Dept of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee will finally stop telling Americans that eggs and shellfish are bad for you.
“It’s the right decision,” Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, told USA Today. For years, “we got the dietary guidelines wrong. They’ve been wrong for decades.”
Unfortunately, the Committee is still perpetuating the idea that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease and should be avoided, one expert suggesting that we should only eat as much saturated fat each day as is in 2 ounces of cheddar cheese.
Saturated fat does raise LDL, which is commonly thought of as “bad” cholesterol. But the truth is more complicated. There are two kinds of LDL: large, fluffy particles which are much less likely to form plaque and blood clots, and small dense LDL which is one of the main culprits in heart disease.
Saturated fat raises levels of the fluffy, protective LDL. So the truth is saturated fat is not as dangerous as these guidelines would lead us to believe. Not to mention that coconut oil is an example of saturated fat, and the mainstay of many heart-healthy traditional diets.
The truly bad fats are TRANS fats, hydrogenated fats found in margarine and still found in many snacks and prepared foods.
If you want to find out which kind of LDL you have, small dense or large fluffy, you need to order advanced blood testing such as Boston Heart Diagnostics or Cardio IQ testing through Quest. Contact my office for more info.