Dietary Cholesterol Intake Patterns

Dietary cholesterol intakes in the United States have been declining, from an average of 500 mg per day in men and 320 mg per day in women in 1972 to levels in 1990 of 360 mg per day in men and 240 mg per day in women. This decline is due in part to dietary recommendations to the US public to reduce total and saturated fat intake and to reduce dietary cholesterol daily intake to less than 300 mg and in part from the increased availability of products with reduced fat and cholesterol content. Major efforts in the early 1970s by public health agencies and advertising emphasized reducing dietary cholesterol as a means to lower plasma cholesterol levels, leading to a high degree of consumer concern regarding cholesterol-containing foods and demand for low-cholesterol products. Today, practically all foods sold in the United States are labeled for their cholesterol content and their percentage contribution to the daily value of 300 mg for cholesterol.

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