18 February 2013
Low fat message out – good fat message in
Heart Foundation welcomes recognition of healthy fats in dietary guidelines
The importance of ‘good fats’ has finally been recognised in Australia’s number one nutrition guideline, the National Heart Foundation of Australia said today.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released the 2013 revision of the Australian Dietary Guidelines, which now distinguishes between ‘good’ fats (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats) and ‘bad’ fats (saturated and trans fats).
National CEO of the Heart Foundation, Dr Lyn Roberts, welcomed the move away from ‘low fat’ messaging, which she said was a significant change from the previous 2003 guidelines that advised Australians to choose low fat foods.
“Australians have been getting the wrong messages for years – we should certainly be reducing bad fats, but it’s important to replace them with good fats. People should not cut all fats from their diet,” Dr Roberts said.
“Australians are now advised to replace high fat foods which contain predominantly saturated fats such as butter, cream, coconut and palm oil with foods that contain predominantly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats such as oils, spreads, nut butters/pastes and avocado.
“It’s good to eat some healthier fats and oils such as canola and olive oil, nuts and fish, as they provide essential nutrients for heart health and protect against heart disease.
“Eating too much saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease and we know Aussies are still eating too much of this bad fat. Too much saturated fat contributes to the build up of fatty material, called plaque, on the inside of your blood vessels, clogging your arteries,” she said.
Heart disease is responsible for around 22,000 deaths every year – the number one killer of Australian men and women.
“The Heart Foundation has been advocating for the distinction between ‘good’ fats and ‘bad’ fats and the importance healthier fats have for heart health, so it’s pleasing to see this reflected in the final guidelines,” she said.
“We have an obesity crisis in Australia and the new guidelines will help Australians to understand nutrition and put them on the path to healthier eating.
“The science and evidence around food has been tried and tested to ensure quality evidence underpins our work and after this review the advice hasn’t changed much. Fad diets will come and go, but we still recommend that to maintain good health people should eat a mix of nutritious foods, avoid overeating and limit their intake of saturated fats, added sugars and salt.”
– ends –
Media contact: Emma Bourke
, Media and Communications Manager, 0411 310 997