Eating fats, such as meat or eggs, won’t raise the amount of cholesterol in our body, Finnish researchers have confirmed. The diet doesn’t affect cholesterol levels even in people who have a genetic characteristic that metabolises cholesterol differently, as is the case with a number of Finnish people.
Researchers from the University of East Finland acknowledge that nutritionists no longer set a safe upper limit on the cholesterol we eat, but they weren’t sure if the same would apply to people who have inherited the APOE4 gene. Around one-third of Finnish people carry the gene, and it affects the way they process cholesterol.
They tracked the health of 1,032 Finnish men, aged between 42 and 60 and who didn’t have cardiovascular disease. Although 32 per cent of the men carried the APOE4 gene, their high-cholesterol diet—which typically included an egg a day—didn’t increase their cholesterol levels or raise their risk of coronary heart disease. Highest daily consumption of cholesterol was around 520 mg.
Although 230 men suffered a heart attack during the study’s 21 years of follow-up, none were associated with cholesterol or their diet.