Dietary Cholesterol Does NOT Raise Blood Cholesterol

At some point in time, the incorrect assumption was made that the cholesterol you eat raises the cholesterol in your blood. Maybe it’s because the foods that are highest in cholesterol are also high in saturated fat, and since the early 70’s saturated fat has been (incorrectly) blamed for causing heart disease?

Either way, it was proven as early as 1937 – by Columbia University biochemists Rittenberg & Schoenheimer – that dietary cholesterol has very little effect on blood cholesterol. And this fact has never been refuted.

Yet, the majority of the population is still convinced that an egg white omelet is healthier for them than eating the yolk…?

egg-white-yolk-protein

Cholesterol is so important, that our bodies utilize anywhere from 1200-1800mg of new cholesterol EVERY day. When we eat more cholesterol, our body simply manufactures less or absorbs more. But it’s beneficial either way, as our liver gets a break from assisting in cholesterol manufacturing, or we get more of the substance that provides several key benefits:

  • brain nutrient & anti-oxidant
  • essential for neuron function
  • building block for cell membranes
  • precursor to vitamin D and sex hormones
  • provides fuel to neurons, who can’t generate cholesterol on their own

Still not convinced?

Well what if I told you there was a research study that took over 360,000 participants and spent $115 Million to see if dietary cholesterol and saturated fat intake is associated with heart disease?

Would you be interested in the results?

In 1982, The Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MR FIT) had 361,662 men at high-risk of heart disease reduce their consumption of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat by 42% and 28%, respectively.  Not only was their no improvement in heart disease risk, but blood cholesterol levels barely fell!!

blood-cholesterol-level

As I’ve illustrated in the past, saturated fat and cholesterol have no association with heart disease, and a regular intake of both is essential for proper functioning. The irony in conventional thinking is that research points to higher blood cholesterol levels when less dietary cholesterol is consumed.

The Tecumseh Study of 1976 looked for associations between dietary cholesterol intake and blood cholesterol levels, and found that participants eating less cholesterol in their diet had higher cholesterol levels!

Am I saying that less dietary cholesterol results in higher blood cholesterol levels?

No. I’m simply showing how completely unrelated the two are. Realistically, dietary cholesterol never increased blood cholesterol, and never will…

…and blood cholesterol levels never increased heart disease risk, and never will.

Stay Lean (and eat the yolks)!
Coach Mike