Heart Foundation gives the tick to some full-fat dairy and more eggs

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Full-fat dairy has been given a tick by the Heart Foundation, as has the number of eggs that can be eaten each week as part of a heart healthy diet.

“We have removed our restriction for healthy Australians on eating full-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt. While the evidence was mixed, this type of dairy was found to have a neutral effect, in that it doesn’t increase or decrease your risks for heart disease or stroke,” said Heart Foundation chief medical advisor, cardiologist Professor Garry Jennings.

“Given this, we believe there is not enough evidence to support a restriction on full-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese for a healthy person, as they also provide healthy nutrients like calcium.”

But the Heart Foundation says we need to rethink how much red meat we’re eating.

“We have introduced a limit of less than 350 grams a week for unprocessed beef, lamb, pork and veal. That’s around one to three lean red-meat meals a week, like a Sunday roast and a beef stir-fry,” said Prof. Jennings.

“Processed or deli meats should be limited, as they have been consistently linked to a higher risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.

“Instead, we suggest people should get most of their heart-healthy protein from plant sources such as beans, lentils (legumes) and tofu, as well as fish and seafood, with a smaller amount from eggs and lean poultry. Heart-healthy eating is more about the combination of foods, eaten regularly over time.”

While the limits for full-fat dairy and eggs have been ‘eased’, Prof. Jennings warned that people who suffer high cholesterol or heart disease, should look for unflavoured reduced-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese and eating fewer than seven eggs per week.

“Butter, cream, ice-cream and dairy-based desserts are not recommended as heart-healthy, as they contain higher fat and sugar levels and less protein. Evidence found the dairy fat in milk, cheese and yoghurt does not raise bad LDL cholesterol levels as much as butter or other dairy products,” he said.

“We now advise people with type 2 diabetes to eat fewer than seven eggs per week, as growing evidence suggests an increased risk with eating more eggs.

“Type 2 diabetes, along with high cholesterol and high blood pressure, are risks for heart disease and stroke that we can all take steps to avoid through diet and lifestyle changes.”

Poor diet is the leading contributor to heart disease, accounting for 65.5 per cent of the total burden of disease, says the Heart Foundation. Yet if Australians were to eat the recommended daily intake of vegetables, it would reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by approximately 16.6 per cent and reduce government health spending by $1.4 billion, based on 2015-16 estimates.

“Over time, the Heart Foundation’s advice for heart-healthy eating has shifted with the evidence to downplay individual nutrients and look more closely at whole foods and patterns of eating. What matters now is the combination of healthy foods and how regularly people eat them,” said Heart Foundation director of prevention, Julie Anne Mitchell.

“The increase in availability and promotion of highly processed foods at the expense of healthy foods has meant that too many Australian adults get more than a third of their total daily energy from high-kilojoule, nutrient-poor junk foods like cakes, muffins, pastries, alcohol and soft drinks.

“Our focus needs to be squarely on promoting healthy foods over unhealthy foods, with a comprehensive national approach, grounded in evidence, that helps make the healthy choice the easy choice.”

Australia – and the world – faces a ‘tsunami’ of obesity, according to research from The George Institute, with processed and packaged foods largely to blame.

The key to better health, says Heart Foundation dietitian Sian Armstrong, is choosing a variety of healthy foods regularly over time.

“Eating more plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits and wholegrains, and healthy proteins like fish and seafood with smaller amounts of animal-based foods, while cutting down on highly processed junk foods is key to good heart health.

“To be heart-healthy, it’s also important to be smoke-free, limit alcohol intake, maintain a healthy weight and get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on five days a week.”

How much red meat do you eat? Will you reduce your intake?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?



Total Comments: 13
  1. 0

    No research about the lethal effects on the bones from dairy foods yet I see. There is now plenty of research to show that dairy leaches minerals from our bones and why falls are now a major issue with our elderly.

    • 0

      Its the other way around Ted. We need calcium for our bones. Its soda drinks(Coke) that leach the bones of minerals.

    • 0

      You contradict yourself Ted.
      First you say there is no research on the effects of dairy on bones then you say there is plenty of research which says dairy leaches minerals from our bones. It can’t be both.

      My understanding is that of Rosret – dairy is a good source of calcium which is required by our bones.

  2. 0

    I would trust a nutritionists no further than the front gate, I find it a bit suspicious that every month they come up with a change in what we should eat. Looks like rotating press releases to me.

    I also find it suspicious that the heart foundation should come out with a recommendation to cut meat, just when the global warming crowd want to stop grazing cows. Collusion anyone.

    • 0

      Part of the problem is that dietetics and the role it plays is a relatively new science in itself. Even Hypoctrates knew that food is medicine but didn’t know why.

      The trouble is today everything must be ‘evidence based’ and that can lead to cash for research by vested interests e.g. the Sugar council paying for research into the effects of added sugar on the body – much like tobacco companies did back in the day to ‘prove’ smoking was harmless!

      As far as dairy goes, it has been known for some time that dairy is not really the issue and that the fat in dairy actually helps maintain a healthy weight. Fat and cholesterol its little brother, were never the issue.

      Science is only now catching up. That’s why there seems to be contradicting reports every other week.

      Keep it simple. Eat food. Not too much! Mostly plants! Google Michael Pollan.

  3. 0

    When considering the Heart Foundation recommendations it is always useful and informative to look up their list of donors – some surprising results! MacDonalds anyone? Heart issues aside, anything that introduces saturated and trans fats into your body helps promote obesity and guess what? – obesity promotes heart desease as well as diabetes and a host of other nasties which shorten our lives. Sensible eating a la Rosemary Stanton is the go.

  4. 0

    At my age (old)Im just going to enjoy what I like in moderation!!

  5. 0

    Another research, another Professor.

  6. 0

    Not surprising at all. As soon as ‘fat-free’ etc tickled the ear of money to be made companies the vultures descended, drooling. Everything wholesome was degraded and more expensive. Low fat, fat free milk, yoghurt, cream, cheese and put an additive in to fill the spaces left by taking the good, healthy fats out. Low fat processed meals and snacks which seemed to make people fatter.

  7. 0

    Nothing much new here, other than their flip-flopping advice regarding dairy & eggs which will only confuse people. I only have observations regarding these comments:

    “…we believe there is not enough evidence to support a restriction on full-fat milk, yoghurt and cheese for a healthy person, as they also provide healthy nutrients like calcium.” – they haven’t mentioned that calcium deposits are the real problem which affects heart valves and arteries – so how about clarifying the prevention of that? Such as limits on dairy, also use of Vitamin K2, etc?

    “Processed or deli meats should be limited, as they have been consistently linked to a higher risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.” – this issue also publicised by the WHO is widely under-emphasised by the Media as it is not in business interests. How about the Heart Foundation, and the Cancer Council, join forces and publicise widely and often the limits on use of these food products? These 2 organisations have been generally missing in action on the Preventative front, while collecting vast amounts of donations from the public.

  8. 0

    In essence, what the Heart Foundation has said here is “we really didn’t know what we were saying before as the studies have turned out to be dodgy”. Which leaves us to wonder how valid are the studies that they are using this time.
    Eat sensibly and in moderation and never trust a dietition who is aged under 80.
    One trouble is that the only way we can be sure about the effects of the various diets is by surgical investigation. Some problems with the ethics and morals of vivisection on humans.

  9. 0

    My great grandmother said a little bit of everything does you good. And a little bit you fansie. She lived till 99yrs old and no ill health.



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