One of the most contentious issues in nutrition is the intake of fat. It is true that cholesterol is found clogging arteries. It is not know how this comes about. Meaning, the mechanism by which arteries get clogged is poorly understood. (Readable summary is here. Another excellent one is here, which states flatly that eating cholesterol is harmless but avoiding it is often a component of malnutrition.) It is possible that excess cholesterol is simply deposited on artery walls, but it is equally likely that damaged artery walls are repaired using it, so restricting intake will have no effect.
Current RDAs for food are predicated on the first assumption, i.e. that eating cholesterol causes clogged arteries. Now, since cholesterol is often found in fat, eating a low-fat diet seems a simple and reasonable way to avoid getting excess cholesterol. Unfortunately one other thing that is known for sure is that keeping protein low and reducing fat drastically means that the balance of calories is made up of carbohydrates.
Having too many carbohydrates induces metabolic syndrome which leads to many of the ills associated with old age, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, extra skin with discoloration, atherosclerosis and such. On top of this, while restricting cholesterol and fat might be linked to cardiovascular disease, they are definitely linked to depression, suicide and unwanted hormonal imbalances (in men too, since testosterone is made from cholesterol). There are other possible mental side effects of a low fat diet too, such as mood swings possibly because the brain is almost completely made of types of cholesterol. No study has ever shown a positive correlation between restricting cholesterol in women and health, by the way. Those for men are at best inconclusive. Studies have shown that rancid oils can cause arteriosclerosis in animals, but these taste bloody well awful and most people avoid even trace amounts. Several prominent researchers have called into question the governmental insistence on a low fat diet as being more political in origin than scientific.
Now, since the jury is out, I still hedge my bets. I tend to eat more fat than is suggested, but I also make sure that I monitor my cholesterol and try hard to get “good” stuff (HDL), so I tend to have lots of nuts and nut oils (walnut oil is pricey but quite the favorite) as well as olive oil. I am not telling you that Baconators with cheese are health food though they are a simply wonderful treat. Bottom line here is that my cholesterol levels are excellent (See above). I just want to be clear that what I advocate is working quite well and will probably make your doctor very happy with the results. Ok?
A large part of this is my exercise regime. If that changes, then I will have to rethink my eating habits. The way that fat is moved through the body requires an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase which is only made in response to vigorous physical activity. Removing exercise from the mix removes the possibility of eating this way. Sound advice is to not eat this way unless your activity levels support it.
Note: Studies show that very vigorous interval exercise (such as Tabata protocol) elevate lipoprotein lipase levels reliably and quickly decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. Studies that try to find a relationship between merely aerobic exercise and these levels are quite variable, mostly because the intensity of the exercise in a general population sample is variable. Consider that low-level aerobic exercise only recruits slow-twitch fiber (typically less than half of the muscle in any human) while intense interval-type training recruits all muscle fibers and you will begin to see why the metabolic effect of such interval training might be quite a bit more drastic than at first glance.