New Guidelines from the National Heart Foundation

September 6, 2019 BY: LISA

The National Heart Foundation have recently updated their guidelines on what it means to eat well for good heart health. They can be summarised by these five points:

  1. Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains 
  2. A variety of healthy protein sources especially fish and seafood, legumes (such as beans and lentils), nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart healthy diet. If choosing red meat, make sure the meat is lean and limit to 1-3 times a week.
  3. Unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. Those with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties. 
  4. Healthy fat choices with nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking 
  5. Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt

Having a closer look at the important points:

Meat:

  • The amount of red meat that is recommended has been reduced to 350grams for the week. This translates to 1-3 meals for red meat per week. For example, if you wanted to eat red meat three times per week then your serve is best limited to around 115grams. This limit encourages the use of other protein sources in meals, including fish and seafood, legumes, nuts, eggs, poultry and dairy.

  • Although not new information, processed meat is not considered part of a heart healthy eating pattern and should be limited or avoided. 

  • There is little evidence for the recommended serve of chicken, however, the Heart Foundation encourages protein from other sources such as fish and legumes.

Dairy Products:

  • The new recommendations state that research has not identified any real difference between reduced fat and full cream dairy products for milk, cheese and yoghurt on heart health. However, if you have existing heart disease, high cholesterol or struggle with weight then you are best to stick with reduced fat varieties.

  • While milk, cheese and yoghurt, preferably unflavoured, are considered heart healthy, butter and cream have been noted to raise LDL cholesterol, particularly if your LDL cholesterol is already raised.

  • Butter, cream, ice cream and other dairy desserts are not considered as ‘healthy dairy’; they are discretionary or ‘extra’ foods and should be enjoyed only in moderation.

  • The statement concluded that unsweetened varieties of milk, yoghurt and cheese are part of a healthy diet, particularly when eaten with a diet that contains wholegrain products, fruit, nuts, seeds, legumes and vegetables. 
stevepb / Pixabay

Dietary Fat:

  • The majority of the fat in the diet is recommended to come from fish, nuts, olives, seeds and the oils that come from these products.

If you need some help putting these guidelines into user-friendly meal plans, please be in touch.

Enjoy!

Lisa APD

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