Cut the Sugar, Up the Good Fats Stony Brook Medicine Registered Dietician Gives New Strategies for Heart Healthy Nutrition
STONY BROOK, NY, February 20, 2015 – Eggs, anyways you like them, might be back on the breakfast menu. For decades, dietary cholesterol has been the focus of nutrition-related heart disease prevention. But now, as the US Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is preparing its 2015 report, new evidence has opened up the discussion that dietary cholesterol may not play as harmful of a role in heart disease as once thought.
Presently the recommendation is to keep your cholesterol intake under 300 milligrams per day, which you can exceed by eating just two eggs. While cholesterol in your body does play a role in heart disease, most of it is made by your liver, which means the effect of dietary cholesterol is small to nonexistent. So if you are trying to adjust heart disease risk through your diet, there might be a better approach.
“For optimal heart health, current nutrition recommendations include a focus on reducing sugar, increasing dietary fiber and improving the fat profile of your diet in favor of healthy unsaturated fats like those found in nuts, seeds, seafood and oils such as olive and canola,” says Registered Dietician, Leah Holbrook, MS, Clinical Instructor of Family Medicine, Stony Brook Medicine. “Avoiding dietary cholesterol is no longer a focus of most counseling sessions with a dietitian/nutritionist since dietary cholesterol is not as responsible for nudging up blood cholesterol and increasing other risk factors for heart disease as saturated fat, trans fat and sugar are.”
“The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar to 6 teaspoons per day for women (24 grams) and 9 teaspoons for men (36 grams),” says Holbrook. “Just one 12oz bottle of soda has approximately 39 grams of sugar. One way to cut the sugar out of your diet is to cut out soda and …