Today, the Heart Foundation focussed on dairy, meat and eggs as part of a healthy diet in its newly released eating guidelines.
Unflavoured full-fat yogurt and cheese are now an option for healthy Australians and there is no longer a limit on the amount of eggs that can be eaten per week for a healthy heart.
“We have removed our restriction for healthy Australians on eating full-fat milk, cheese and yogurt. 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 and stroke,” Heart Foundation Chief Medical Advisor and cardiologist Professor Garry Jennings said.
Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean we can head straight to the ice-cream aisle, but we’ve been given the green light to enjoy our cheese platters guilt-free.
“Butter ice-cream and dairy based desserts are not recommended as heart-healthy, as they contain higher fat and sugar levels and less protein,” Professor Jennings said.
“Cheese and yogurt – being fermented dairy products are different again from milk itself and seem to offer extra benefits.”
The Heart Foundation have also removed the limit on the number of eggs that can be eaten per week, however kept the limit to seven eggs a week for those with Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease.
Poor diet is the leading contributor to heart disease, accounting for 65.5 per cent of the total burden of disease.
According to the Heart Foundation, if Australians ate the recommended daily intake of vegetables, it would reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases by approximately 16.6 per cent and save $1.4 billion in health spending.
“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 processes junk foods is key to good heart health,” Heart Foundation Director of Prevention Julie Anne Mitchell.