Nutrition Panel: Cholesterol, Salt, and Coffee Are Ok?

If you like a cup of coffee and an egg in the morning, then a panel of top nutrition experts appointed by the federal government has given you the green light, as they weighed in with its long-awaited diet advice.

Recommendations from this government advisory committee call for an environmentally friendly diet that is lower in red and processed meats.

However, the panel would converse previous guidance on limiting dietary cholesterol, and it also says that the caffeine in a few cups of coffee could actually be good for you.

Notwithstanding the changes, the report stuck to the basic message of the previous guidelines that advise us to eat more fruits and vegetables and whole grains, but eat less saturated fats, salt, and sugar.

Dietary Cholesterol Are Ok

The report latest report states that dietary cholesterol is no more considered a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.

This is as a result of increasing medical research, which has shown that the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream is more complex than once thought.

The committee maintained that available evidence has shown no appreciable relationship between heart disease and how much dietary cholesterol one consumes. However, the committee still recommends eating less saturated fat. 


Sodium adds up quickly, and the committee recommended 2,300 milligrams of sodium (salt) a day for all people, even those most at risk for heart disease.

The previous dietary guidelines for 2010 had recommended those at risk for heart disease to limit their sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams. The new report also suggested that lowering to that amount of 1,500 milligrams can still be helpful for some.

The new instruction follows research in 2013 and the subsequent report by the Institute of Medicine that said there is no good evidence that eating less than 2,300 milligrams a day of sodium offers any benefits.

With the average American eating more than 3,400 milligrams daily, the panel recommends a reduction of sodium intake by 1,000 milligrams a day if the new goals are to be unattainable.

The focus is where it should be, as we strive to get sodium intake down, and fine-tune the numbers as more suggestion comes in.

An Endorsement for Coffee

The report says that caffeine is Ok, for the first time, suggesting that coffee is even good for you. 

The panel states that there is strong evidence that 3 to 5 cups of coffee a day can be part of a healthy diet.

There is consistent evidence that it is even associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The report also advises against the consumption of large-size energy drinks that are popular in the marketplace. This is even as it recommends that pregnant women limit caffeine to two cups of coffee a day.

Important Information

  • Don’t add calories with cream, milk and added sugar.
  • The panel recommends eating more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds, as a plant-based diet is healthier, and is associated with less environmental impact.
  • The report did not tell people not to eat meat, saying that no food groups need to be eliminated completely in order to improve sustainability outcomes.”
  • Overall, the panel advises a diet lower in red and processed meat. And in a final note, suggested that lean meats can be part of a healthy diet. This prompted the North American Meat Institute to criticize the report, with their opinion that the health benefits of lean meat should be treated as a headline and not a footnote.

For more guidelines, and copy of the full report, visit

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