A University of California professor is questioning whether the federal government’s dietary advice has hurt Americans more than it’s helped them.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines have given erroneous advice in the past and the current recommendations have been criticized for being based on political views rather than science.

In a piece published in Wall Street Journal, Dr. David A. McCarron of UC-Davis says many Americans have lost trust in the science behind the guidelines since they seem to change dramatically every five years.

“In February, for example, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee declared that certain fats and eggs are no longer the enemy and that cholesterol is ‘not considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.’ This, after decades of advising Americans to ‘watch their cholesterol.’”

McCarron says the government’s long-running advice on salt intake is another example of opinion masquerading as science. Recent studies have revealed that the government’s recommended limits on salt are off base.

Just as troubling is when dietary advice is issued in spite of objections.

“The World Health Organization warned against eating processed and red meat, a finding based principally on observational studies as opposed to properly controlled clinical trials,” writes Davis. “Given that one third of the WHO committee did not agree with the report’s findings, it’s unclear if we really need to hold the bacon when we order eggs for breakfast.”

It is critical that Dietary Guidelines be rooted in the latest sound science if we want to avoid the missteps of the past. The opinions and political agendas of a few people should not be the basis for what we should eat and drink.