New Cholesterol Recommendations – PRMC
New government recommendations throw into question everything we thought we knew about cholesterol. The new guidelines remove the limit on dietary cholesterol. It had been no more than 300 milligrams a day, or about two eggs. The panel made the change after studies showed there wasn’t a clear link between eating high-cholesterol foods and the amount of bad-cholesterol that ends up in the blood.
The guidelines also limit added sugar to no more than 10 percent of daily calories. That would be things like sweetened drinks and soda. Other recommendations limit saturated fats to no more than 10 percent of daily calories and sodium to less than 2,300 milligrams daily.
The guidelines suggest 3-5 small cups of coffee a day are healthy. Just be sure to hold all the sweet extras you put in it.
Now we’re going to dig a little deeper into how diet can impact the heart. A big part of it comes down to lipids, which are fats in your blood. Lipids include cholesterol, which is broken down into low density lipoprotein or LDL. This is considered the bad cholesterol. There’s also a high-density lipoprotein, or HDL, which is considered the good cholesterol. Lipids also include triglycerides in the blood.
Dr. Jennifer Eakin, cardiologist at Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, joins us to tell us more. She says it is important to monitor the numbers so that patients can actually be more engaged and take an active role in their health care.
- <200: Desirable
- 200-239: Borderline high
- <240: High
LDL Cholesterol (bad)
- <100: Optimal
- 100-129: Near Optimal
- 130-159: Borderline high
- 160-189: High
- 190: Very high
HDL Cholesterol (good)
- <40: Low
- >60: High