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New US Dietary Recommendations say Eggs are OK

FILE - Brown eggs are shown in their carton in a home in Palm Springs, California, Aug. 17, 2015.

Americans can now eat eggs guilt free, according to new nutritional recommendations issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services.

In the first guidelines issued since 2011 the government also gave the green light to other high cholesterol foods, and drinking up to five cups of coffee a day.

In 1977, the guidelines had recommended avoiding cholesterol, which negatively impacted egg sales.

"The U.S. has joined many other countries and expert groups like the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology that do not have an upper limit for cholesterol intake in their dietary guidelines," said Mitch Kanter, the Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Center, an egg advocacy group.

The recommendations also said Americans should limit their daily caloric intake of sugars to 10 percent, a first.

Calories coming from saturated fats found in foods like red meat, butter, cheese, whole milk and ice cream should also be limited to 10 percent, according to the guidelines.

Diet shift

Overall the guidelines suggest that Americans move away from a diet centered around animal proteins and moving to more plant-based meals. Not only would this be better for people, but by eating more fruits, vegetables and nuts, there would be less environmental pressure on the planet, say the guidelines.

In another first, the recommendations no longer suggest eating breakfast as a way to stay fit.

Dropping the warning of cholesterol was seen by critics of the recommendations as a prime example of giving advice on something that was later proven not to be true.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday recommendations change with scientific knowledge, but have been consistent in recommending eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, while eating less saturated fat, sodium and foods high in sugar.

The government guidelines are issued every five years and help set nutritional standards for school lunch programs and federal food aid.