Eat the whole egg! Government changes stance on cholesterol guidelines

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Feb. 11, 2015)-- Enjoy your morning eggs and eat the yolk, guilt free! A new recommendation from the nutrition advisory panel goes against what we've heard for the past 40 years about eating high-cholesterol foods.

"So eat the whole egg. Yeah, it's probably OK. It's probably one of the purest examples of cholesterol," said St. Vincent interventional cardiologist Dr. Kirk Parr.

Parr says this recommendation didn't surprise him. However, just five years ago this same panel deemed eating excess cholesterol in the American diet a "public health concern." Parr says saturated fat has always been the trigger to heart disease, not cholesterol.

"Very fatty foods like whole milk, butter the fat around a steak has a lot of saturated acids. People eat that, it goes to their liver and that's what makes cholesterol. That's what ends up in the blood stream, that's what ends up clogging arteries," said Parr.

So this changes the stance on eating high-cholesterol foods like lobster and shrimp. These foods may have high cholesterol, but they're low in saturated fat. This is welcome news for some, but there's still a small group that has to be aware on their cholesterol intake.

"For some reasons diabetics seem to have different livers and so probably diabetics should stay away from high-cholesterol diets," said Parr.

He says there simply isn't enough research to prove high cholesterol foods cause heart problems. Parr says he's glad to see the United States jump on what he calls a good bandwagon.

"The United States is the only country in the entire world that has a restriction on cholesterol in their dietary recommendations because (other countries) realize that eating cholesterol doesn't translate into blood cholesterol levels and probably doesn't translate into heart disease."