However, the body produces cholesterol. And when we eat cholesterol, the exquisite machinery that is our body makes less of it to keep the level in our blood relatively stable. According to a recent interview by an NPR reporter on a US government panel looking at making new diet recommendations:
"AUBREY: ... A lot of us grew up thinking eggs were a no-no, right? Back in the 1970s, that's when experts first started making links between heart disease and diet. And that's when dietary cholesterol was really fingered as a problem. Now, cholesterol is found in animal products - meat, eggs, cheese, butter. And the thinking was that the amount Americans were eating was responsible for the increasing prevalence of heart disease.
"SIEGEL: And what's happened now?
"AUBREY: Well, in short, as researchers have continued to study this, they've concluded that there's really not strong evidence to support the idea that eating a lot of cholesterol in foods leads directly to higher amounts of bad artery-clogging cholesterol in our bloodstreams.
"In fact, the American Heart Association changed its policy on dietary cholesterol in 2013, citing insufficient evidence on this link. And that's the new science that the dietary guidelines committee is responding to. Now, I should point out that their final report has not been released yet, so the details of their message on cholesterol is just not clear yet."
The Atlantic Monthly's health and medicine blogger James Hamblin explains that these recommendations reflect a comprehensive change in what experts believe is good in terms of food for good health.
"The 15-person advisory committee's new recommendations are emblematic of an essential ongoing shift in approaches to eating: focusing on whole foods, as opposed to avoiding or endorsing specific macronutrients (carbs, fat, or protein). Where nutrients are mentioned in the committee's recommendations, there are a few notable moves. Cholesterol in food is no longer cause for concern—vindicating the once-forsaken egg yolk and its arbitrary "62-percent daily value" of cholesterol, as current nutrition labels read. Only certain kinds of dietary fat (trans and saturated) are to be minimized, and whole grains are—starkly counter to the national trend in low-carb and gluten-averse ideologies—second only to fruits and vegetables as the most "health-promoting" foods that a person can eat."
This panel convened by the U.S. Depts. of Agriculture and Health and Human Services also recommends we eat less red meat and processed meat, less sugar-added food and drinks, and less refined sugar in general -- recommendations we have in fact made here on this blog many times. Interestingly, we're to eat more seafood too.
Perhaps the most controversial recommendation -- well, the one that got the acclaim and the headlines in the media anyway -- is the one that says we can eat food that is filled with cholesterol. This is probably because experts acknowledge our bodies will adjust how much cholesterol is made available in our blood based on much cholesterol we eat. That is why, according to newer science, eating eggs is all good.