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The Shellfish Vs. Cholesterol Connection:

The holiday season is a time of celebration, and what better way to celebrate than to splurge on a shellfish feast? What about the cholesterol connection? It's overrated ­ shellfish have suffered a bad rap, according to many experts, including Dr. William P. Castelli, Director of the Framingham Heart Study, and Anne M. Fletcher, M.S. R.D., former editor of the Tufts University Diet & Nutrition Letter. In early assessments, outdated scientific methods detected cholesterol­like substances as well as cholesterol, and the resulting readings were falsely high. Says Dr. Castelli, "Most of the cholesterol in our bodies is manufactured by our bodies. It doesn't come from eating cholesterol, it comes from eating too much saturated fat." He adds that although some shellfish contain higher amounts of cholesterol than the average finfish, they are "excruciatingly low in saturated fat." Anne Fletcher points out that a serving of just about any shellfish is well within the 300 mg daily limit recommended by leading health organizations, including the American Heart Association. "In fact," she says, "most shellfish provide just a fraction of what's allowable for cholesterol." That's decidedly good news for shellfish lovers.

California Seafood Council, PO Box 91540,	Santa Barbara, CA 93190 +1-805-569-8050