Annapolis residents can eat their crabs again without worrying about their cholesterol

Annapolis residents can eat their crabs again without worrying about their cholesterol

A Primary Care Update for Annapolis: Crab & Shrimp Back on the Diet!

Evolve Medical is excited to provide this primary care update for people of Annapolis who have long lamented that some of their favorite foods such as crab and shrimp are high in cholesterol and therefore must be avoided. As a Primary Care and Internal Medicine physician here in Annapolis for the last 16 years, I can testify that many patients have complained when told they had to limit their cholesterol intake. But for those who have heard my recommendations regarding dietary cholesterol, I have always believed that eating “healthy” foods, such as seafood and other natural sources of protein, is the least of our concerns. The biggest focus should be on added sugars, simple carbohydrates and with particular attention to heavily processed foods and sugary drinks. The guidelines report that comes out seems to back up much of that theory.

An expert panel appointed by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services has released its scientific report that will be used to create the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are updated every 5 years. One of the most notable changes is the elimination of dietary cholesterol as a concern. Previously, the group had recommended no

Seafood Nutritional Chart

Seafood Nutritional Chart

more than 300mg per day, which is less than 2 servings of shrimp OR only 3 crabs. In fact, the report specifically says, “Available evidence shows no appreciable relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and serum cholesterol … Cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern for overconsumption.”

For those who do not care to read the entire 571 page report, below are highlights. 

Some highlights include:

Overall, people should consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, seafood, legumes, and nuts and low in red or processed meats, sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, and refined grains.

People should limit their daily consumption of added sugars (<10% of calories), saturated fat (<10% of calories), and dietary sodium (<2300 mg).

Half of all grain intake should come from whole grains.

Moderate alcohol intake is fine in most adults.Unknown-1

The equivalent of up to five cups of coffee daily is not associated with adverse effects in most adults.

Additional highlights were presented at a symposium at Harvard, reported in this month’s Harvard Magazine. These include:

40% of the U.S. population doesn’t get enough of vitamins A, D, E, and C, nor folate, calcium, magnesium, fiber, and potassium

70% of the population doesn’t eat the recommended quantities of fruit. (Americans still, unfortunately, eat way too many burgers and sandwiches).

Many adolescent and pre-menopausal women are deficient in iron.

The shortfalls in calcium, vitamin D, fiber, potassium, and iron are considered “a public health concern” because underconsumption is linked to adverse health outcomes.

Finally, this excellent quote from Dr. Ayala who writes for the Huffington Post:

“When pieces of advice do change don’t be upset. Science is never static. Our pursuit of the truth is a journey, and new, many times better data brings us closer to it. Today’s cars are infinitely safer than the ones sold in the ’80s, despite all the recent recalls. The scientific method moves us closer to the answer, but it does take time and further study, and nutrition study is both young and very difficult.

I think it’s wise to have a healthy, enjoyable food pattern. I don’t think you have to listen to the noise and the fine details. Those change, but the essence does remain the same, and change and discovery is what makes things interesting.”