Plain language summary
For years, dietary cholesterol was implicated in increasing blood cholesterol levels, therefore contributing to the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD). While it is known that saturated fatty acids and trans-fatty acids increase CVD risk, the evidence of dietary cholesterol increasing this risk remains inconclusive. This review summarises the current evidence regarding dietary cholesterol, blood cholesterol, saturated fatty acids and the risk of CVD. This review found that the current literature does not support the notion that dietary cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease in healthy individuals. The fact that dietary cholesterol is common in foods that are high in saturated fats may have contributed to the hypothesis that dietary cholesterol increases the risk of CVD. Based on these results, the author suggests individuals incorporate nutrient-dense, calorie controlled, balanced meals in eating patterns.