Dietary Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Risk A Science Advisory From the American Heart Association

Year Published: 2019




Jo Ann S. Carson, PhD, RDN, FAHA, Chair; Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, FAHA, Vice Chair; Cheryl A.M. Anderson, PhD, MPH, MS, FAHA; Lawrence J. Appel, MD, MPH, FACP, FAHA; Penny M. Kris-Etherton, PhD, RD, FAHA; Katie A. Meyer, ScD, MPH; Kristina Petersen, PhD, APD; Tamar Polonsky, MD, MSCI; Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, FAHA


This study was done to examine the current evidence on the relationship between dietary cholesterol and cardiovascular disease risk. An advisory panel consisting of researchers in the field looked at observational and intervention studies done in humans across the world and presented their findings in this document.

Key Findings

Key Findings: Highlights from the advisory (as reported by the American Heart Association): • Eating a heart-healthy dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils and nuts, which is also limits salt, red and processed meats, refined-carbohydrates and added sugars, is relatively low in dietary cholesterol and supports healthy levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol. • Although there is a positive relationship between very high intakes of cholesterol and artery-clogging LDL cholesterol, at levels of cholesterol currently consumed in the U.S. to reduce heart disease risk the emphasis should be on increasing the polyunsaturated fat intake and reducing the saturated fat intake.