Prawns x Cholesterol

Been looking up prawns as they’ve been a topic of conversation over this holiday period. We bought 5kg of tiger prawns from Aptus Seafood at South Melbourne Market for a family party over the holidays.

Justin made a lovely dill mayonnaise from scratch using the newly acquired The Nordic Cookbook by Magnus Nilsson. Most people didn’t go for the prawns. Too much effort to clean, we reckon.

This resulted in my gorging on prawns for dinner. For breakfast. And I’m sure that progressed into lunch as well.

prawns_CSIRO

So. The natural thought progression was cholesterol. And to stop gorging on prawns as they are high in cholesterol. I don’t really eat too many eggs or worry about these things generally, but it came up as a point of conversation at work. And points of difference ensued. And voracious Googling.

I stumbled across a Harvard Health article from Feb 2015 about a panel suggesting that dietary guidelines stop warning people about the cholesterol of the food they are eating (as opposed to their own cholesterol) and to instead focus on reducing/eliminating saturated fats and trans fats. The article in fact states that our bodies create far greater levels of cholesterol (which is essential for the body for a number of reasons) than could be absorbed through food consumption.

After further digging around, I came across some articles on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Report. From what I understand this is an annual report to US Department of Health and Human Services, and the US Department of Agriculture. I found an article that suggested six takeaways from the report, one of which was that people should start being candid about cholesterol warnings…

“For years the Dietary Guidelines for Americans has recommended limiting cholesterol intake to less than 300mg/day, but the 2015 DGAC took a different stance. The committee found no evidence showing an appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and cholesterol levels in the blood, therefore removing cholesterol as a nutrient of concern for overconsumption. Being that one egg contains roughly 200mg of cholesterol, this news should come as a relief to Americans as they no longer need to severely restrict their consumption of this breakfast staple.”
— FleishmanHillard, Six Takeaways from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) Report

Good news for prawn lovers. And egg and lobsters too!

Admittedly, I don’t eat any of these three often… But I know now that when I do gorge my face it won’t be an issue.

Lessons: guidelines on anything dietary are always changing. It’s hard to choose one guide over another. And the internet is full of reports of some kind, some dodgier than others, so have a methodology of choosing sources if you’re going to enter into some form of workplace crusade on being healthy, a problem I’m bound to face again and again. 🙂

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