For the past 40 years, we’ve been told to limit our cholesterol intake and adopt a low-fat diet.
Cholesterol and fat, we were told, are dangerous to our heart health and must be minimized to prevent heart disease.
We didn’t hear these warnings from random, fly-by-night “experts” trying to hawk a heart-healthy solution.
This information came straight from the U.S. government, the American Heart Association and other health organizations.
And now, in an astonishing position reversal, these experts may soon stop singing the “low-cholesterol, low-fat” diet gospel.
That’s because an independent advisory group, the Dietary Guidelines and Advisory Committee, is dumping this dietary dogma and dispelling the diet-heart myth.
Changing the Diet-Heart Hypothesis
The current diet-heart hypothesis tells us that saturated fat raises our blood cholesterol levels. And when that level gets too high, it puts us at risk for heart disease.
Previously, the DGAC recommended that cholesterol intake should be capped at 300 mg per day and that fat should represent less than 30% of our daily calorie intake.
However, within the past few weeks, the DGAC has debunked this hypothesis as merely myth.
In fact, the new DGAC guidelines state that it will not bring forward the low-cholesterol guideline:
“Available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol.”
Not only that …
“Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”
As for fat intake, that “up to 30%” number seems to be fine … as long as it’s the right kind.
“Dietary advice should put the emphasis on optimizing types of dietary fat and not reducing total fat.
“Reducing total fat (replacing total fat with overall carbohydrates) does not lower cardiovascular risk.
“The consumption of ‘low-fat’ or ‘nonfat’ products with high amounts of refined grains and added sugars should be discouraged.”
Talk about a complete 180!
Late last year, I sent you an article where we exposed this cholesterol myth.
However, before you refer back to it, let’s look at some of the most important things you should know about cholesterol …
First, remember that the diet-heart hypothesis says dietary cholesterol and saturated fats raise the cholesterol in our blood.
Yet, most of the research for this was based on studies from 40 to 50 years ago … studies that have since been debunked.
In other words, the government was late to the party as usual.
And thanks to Big Pharma and the mainstream media, the truth never fully reached the public — until now.
Here’s a truth you need to know about your own body …
From day to day, we have between 1,000 and 1,700 mg of cholesterol in our bodies.
But most people don’t realize that their liver actually produces the majority of cholesterol in their body.
That’s right! The liver produces 75% of our cholesterol and the other 25% comes from our diet.
This important fact holds the key to understanding cholesterol.
Being mindful about the types of food we eat is always a good idea.
But it’s also important to realize that the body naturally regulates the amount of cholesterol in it at any given time:
• When we ingest more cholesterol from food, the body produces less.
• When our cholesterol intake is low, the body makes more.
Therefore, dietary cholesterol has virtually no effect on our blood cholesterol levels.
However, it is possible to consume too little cholesterol.
In fact, avoiding cholesterol in your diet is actually more harmful to your health than helpful!
A 2009 study showed that dietary cholesterol had very little impact on blood cholesterol levels in about 75% of the population.
The other 25% were considered hyper-responders.” That is, there appeared to be a connection between high cholesterol consumption and high levels of cholesterol in the blood.
But that wasn’t necessarily bad news.
Even among the hyper-responders in which both LDL (low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or good cholesterol) were increased, the ratio was unaffected and did not increase the risk of heart disease. 
As Ancel Keys, who is considered the “father” of the diet-heart hypothesis, said in 1997:
“There’s no connection whatsoever between the cholesterol in food and cholesterol in the blood. And we’ve known that all along. Cholesterol in the diet doesn’t matter at all unless you happen to be a chicken or a rabbit.”
(For a full explanation of the cholesterol myth, click here.)
What Really Causes Heart Disease?
Now that recent research suggests cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease, what is the real culprit?
Most researchers now believe the primary cause of heart disease is inflammation and oxidative stress.
Studies comparing cholesterol levels in men and women illustrate a big flaw in the diet-heart hypothesis:
Women suffer 300% less heart disease than men, and yet have higher average cholesterol levels.
The recent Conference on Low Blood Cholesterol reviewed 11 major studies that included 125,000 female participants.
“There was absolutely no relationship between total cholesterol levels and mortality from cardiovascular or any other causes.”
Researchers also recently conducted more than 40 trials to determine whether lowering cholesterol levels can prevent heart disease.
In some trials, heart disease rates rose and in others, they fell.
But when the results of all of the trials were pooled together, the results were surprising …
As it turns out, just as many people died in the treatment groups (who had their cholesterol levels lowered by drugs) as in the control groups (who had no treatment).
The chart above shows that Australian Aboriginals have the highest rate of heart disease. Yet, this group reportedly has the lowest cholesterol levels.
Meanwhile, the Swiss (on the far right side of the chart) have the highest average cholesterol levels … and one of the lowest levels of heart disease.
Dr. Frederick Stare, a longtime American Heart Association member and (former) proponent of the diet-heart hypothesis, had this to say:
“The cholesterol factor is of minor importance as a risk factor in (cardiovascular disease). Of far more importance are smoking, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, insufficient physical activity and stress.”
Dangers of Lowering Your Cholesterol
As I said earlier, it can be extremely harmful to reduce or even try to eliminate cholesterol from your diet.
For starters, cholesterol is an essential nutrient required by every single cell of the body to function properly.
Second, cholesterol is necessary for every steroid hormone (which is synthesized from cholesterol), including the sex and adrenal hormones.
Third, cholesterol helps to convert sunlight to Vitamin D in the human body.
Without it, you wouldn’t be able to benefit from the Vitamin D that your body needs. This “sunshine vitamin” boots our immune systems and contributes to healthy bones and teeth, among other benefits.
Bottom line: Not only does dietary cholesterol NOT affect blood cholesterol levels, but also total cholesterol levels in general DO NOT cause heart disease.
I encourage you to get the word out about this and tell your family, friends and neighbors …
Though the government is changing its stance, I fear the majority of Americans will stick to what they’ve been taught about cholesterol.
So I hope for you to pass this along, and spread the truth so we can all live healthier lives.
Publisher, Uncommon Wisdom Daily
References and Sources: