Love in moderation: Aussies relationships with saturated fats

Sweet nothings aren’t the only thing being exchanged this Valentine’s Day, with new research demonstrating Aussies are about to embark on a love affair with one particular micronutrient – saturated fats.

From charcuterie boards to heart-shaped cakes topped with velvety smooth buttercream, it’s no surprise that confectionery such as chocolate and crisps (75 per cent), baked goods (69 per cent), and red meat (56 per cent) intake are set to increase this Valentine’s Day, according to the new data commissioned by global food and nutrition tracking app MyFitnessPal.

When quizzed on their nutrition knowledge, only half of adult Australia knew/ correctly answered that saturated fats should be less than 10 per cent of their caloric intake.

“Diet is a critical part of our battle against premature heart disease, particularly atherosclerosis (cholesterol-related hardening and blockage of arteries),” says Prof Andrew Coats, Scientific Director and CEO at the Heart Research Institute. 

“We have known for many years the key component of a healthy diet is limited amounts of red meat, dairy produce and other saturated fats, and a cap on sugar and added salt on food. Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables are to be recommended along with regular physical activity and the maintenance of a normal body weight.”

In recognition of Heart Health Month, instead of indulging in sweets, cakes and cheeses this Valentine’s Day, MyFitnessPal is encouraging Australians to kick start their heart health journey by loving saturated fats in moderation.

Heart disease is still one of Australia’s leading causes of death, and unfortunately there is greater risk for Aussies with diets high in saturated fats due to raised LDL cholesterol levels.

“We all like a treat now and then and Valentine’s is the perfect occasion to spoil a loved one but moderation is key to a healthy diet. You don’t need to sacrifice taste to create a meal for your loved one that is jam packed with flavour. There are so many simple swaps you can make in recipes that will keep your saturated fat intake low, taste buds happy, and heart healthy,” added fitness coach and author, Luke Hines.

“Tracking apps such as MyFitnessPal are the only way for Australians to accurately measure their saturated fat intake each day. The macronutrient is hidden in many animal sources, particularly red meat and full fat dairy products, as well as some plants and their oils. Without tracking, it can be too easy to creep over that 10 per cent recommendation each day.”

 

 

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