New Cholesterol Guidelines Mean These Foods Could Be Back on the Table

PHOTO: The USDA is considering a revision to its dietary cholesterol recommendations.PlayGetty Images
WATCH High-Cholesterol Food Warning May Be Scrapped

Now that an influential group of nutrition scientists have indicated the U.S. Department of Agriculture may drop the cholesterol 50-year-old warning against eating cholesterol-laden foods, some changes to the American diet may be in order.

The current recommendation by the USDA is for adults to consume no more than 300 mgs of cholesterol per day from dietary sources. The agency won’t make any changes to those guidelines for at least six months and if they do, they will still caution diabetics and people who take statin medications to refrain from eating a lot of cholesterol.

But for the rest of us, here are some foods that would be back on the table if the new guidelines are adopted.


Eggs have long been the poster child of the anti-cholesterol message, possibly because one large egg contains nearly a day’s worth of cholesterol, according to the USDA nutritional database. Assuming the new guidelines are accepted, the 636 mg in a three-egg omelet with cheese won’t matter to most people.


Bacon might also make it back onto more breakfast tables. Some cuts deliver up to half the current daily limit of cholesterol. Of course, there are other health reasons for limiting your ration of all processed meats, including the high amounts of sodium, fats and nitrates they contain.


One ounce of chicken liver totals 180 mg of dietary cholesterol. So a typical 4-ounce serving of this organ meat is more than 200 percent above the current recommended daily intake of cholesterol. According to the USDA and American Heart Association, other meats considered high in cholesterol include lamb, duck, fattier cuts of beef and pork.

Shell Fish

Shrimp, with 194 mg per 3.5 ounce serving, could also swim back onto the menu more often if the cholesterol limits go away. Other shell fish too would once again be considered a healthy, low-calorie choice.

Whole Fat Dairy

New guidelines would mean less guilt when choosing whole milk with 24 mg of cholesterol compared to 5 mg from fat-free milk. You might also consider switching from a 3-ounce serving of a low fat cheese which has virtually no cholesterol to a full-fat cheese with approximately 30 percent of the current daily limit on the nutrient.