When the federal government issues its 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs), it will finally remove cholesterol from its list of "nutrients of concern" and reverse the previous decades-long recommendation to avoid food with cholesterol. This U-turn is in response to recent admissions that there was never any solid scientific evidence that cholesterol in food affects cholesterol in the blood.
The decision by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) to drop the 40-year-old warning has prompted a debate among nutrition experts who have been voicing their concerns that the DGAs need to be based on solid science. A growing group of scientists are also questioning whether we should be even listing “nutrients of concern.” There’s just too much scientific uncertainty about how a single nutrient can effect health, they say.
“It is time to abandon the silver bullet theory that good health is achieved by eliminating a ‘bad’ nutrient. There is no ideal dietary pattern that fits the entire population," writes Dr. Ken Lee, director of The Ohio State Food Innovation Center and professor of food science, and Dr. Robert Murray, pediatrician and Ohio State professor of human nutrition, in a blog post in The Hill.
Lee and Murray say that instead of fixating on one nutrient as the culprit to America's health problems we should advise the DGAC to “eliminate talk of ‘good’ foods and ‘bad’ foods and help people customize and personalize the dietary patterns and recommendations in the DGAs.”
Obesity is a complex issue that cannot be solved by singling out a single food, beverage or nutrient. We need to look at the whole diet and consider the totality of science on how the body may or may not be impacted so Americans get nutritional advice that is achievable and accurate.