Imagine that there was a trusted judge in your town who had been making important decisions for many decades. Let’s say for the sake of argument that he had sent a person to prison many decades ago, but just recently decided to review the case and realized that he had made his decision for conviction without any evidence of guilt. Therefore, he was changing his mind and releasing that person from prison. Gee, sorry….
What would you think about that judge? Would you have faith in his decisions going forward? It’s not a rhetorical question.
The Federal Government has been making dietary recommendations to the American people for many decades, mainly through two agencies: the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture. Every five years, bureaucrats appoint scientists to a panel called the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, which then makes detailed recommendations to those bureaucrats about what constitutes a healthy diet, and then the guidelines are made official by the agencies.
For almost 40 years, the committee has recommended a limit on dietary cholesterol. Currently, the published recommendation is no more than 300 milligrams per day. A single egg or a small lobster contains a little over 200 milligrams, which pretty much blows your allowance, since there’s smaller amounts of cholesterol in many other foods you’ll consume.
Earlier this year, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee decided that there never was any basis for the recommendation to limit cholesterol, so they removed the 300 milligram limit. Now there is no limit. Basically, cholesterol was sent to jail about 40 years ago, and it was just released because the appointed scientists finally decided to wake up to the fact that there was never any evidence to convict it in the first place.
In the words of Robert Eckel, a professor at the University of Colorado and co-chair of the panel, “Looking back at the literature, we just couldn’t see the kind of science that would support (cholesterol) dietary restrictions.” The previously recommended figure of 300 milligrams, Eckel said, is “just one of those things that gets carried forward and carried forward even though the evidence is minimal.”
What does this say about the credibility of every other recommendation they’ve made, are making now, or will make in the future?
Besides lobster, there are high amounts of cholesterol in other tasty foods such as shrimp, red meat, butter, and bacon. What a coincidence, I eat most of those things almost every day!
So go ahead and enjoy your lobster, and take “official” dietary advice with a grain of salt.