The Heart Foundation has released new dietary guidelines after a two-year review of Australian and International research into the effect meat, dairy and eggs have on our health.
While it was previously recommended everyone stick with reduced-fat dairy products (e.g. milk and yoghurt), the full-fat kind have officially been given the tick of approval, along with regular consumption of eggs. The review established that restricting these food groups is only necessary for those with high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes or those already experiencing heart disease.
“There’s been quite a shift in public health nutrition research and we wanted to ensure our healthy eating guidelines ... were underpinned by the best available evidence,” Julie Anne Mitchell, director of prevention at the Heart Foundation explained.
“What we found was that in regard to dairy, the effect of low fat versus full-fat milk, cheese and yoghurt on heart disease risk was really quite neutral. So our advice is changing.”
For the first time, the foundation also encourages that we cut back on our consumption of unprocessed beef, lamb, pork and veal to 350g, which equates to around three meat-based meals per week. In addition, processed or deli meats should be avoided as they have been consistently linked to increased risk of chronic conditions.
The Heart Foundation's chief medical adviser, cardiologist Professor Garry Jennings, added one caveat on the findings: “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.”