“Let Them Eat Eggs” Cholesterol and the New Dietary Guidelines

You know those monumental moments in human history where you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when it happened? Like 9/11, the day Princess Diana died, or when JFK was assassinated? Not to suggest that the release of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines are anything like a national tragedy nor the death of a beloved public figure, but I remember exactly where I was when I heard that new guidelines lifted restrictions from eggs and shellfish. Ironically, I was standing at my stove, cooking my usual breakfast that always includes 1 to 2 eggs.

The Dietary Guidelines from the Dietary Guideline Advisory Committee (DGAC) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) directly affect my work as a Registered Dietitian (RD). The previous recommendations to limit and avoid shellfish and eggs have been drilled into us as long as I can remember. Almost daily, I recommend more protein at breakfast and get resistance when I suggest an egg:

Patient: “You mean, egg whites?”

Me: “No, the whole thing. Yolk and all.”

Patient: “Oh, no, I can’t have eggs. They raise my cholesterol.”

Finally, the guidelines are up-to-speed and we can help patients move away from high carbohydrate breakfasts, like cereal. Whereas the old guidelines only allowed 1-2 eggs per week, I feel comfortable recommending 1-2 eggs several days a week. Below, I share with you the revised guidelines on dietary cholesterol in the 2015 report:

Click here for more ideas on building a better breakfast and here for more facts on the nutritious, delicious egg!

– True Health Clinical Health Consultant Stacie Wheatley, MA, RD, LD


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