FOR years, Australians have been urged to cut their fat intake, but now nutrition experts are calling for polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil, margarine and nuts to be made a sixth food group and want their consumption increased.
Experts from the Heart Foundation and Peter Clifton, the man behind the CSIRO’s Total Wellbeing Diet, have stepped up their war with the National Health and Medical Research Council over new draft food guidelines to take effect later this year. They want the proposed new food plate, which gives a pictorial representation of how Australians should eat, to include a sixth food group: polyunsaturated fats.
The experts claim the draft 2012 Australian Guide to Healthy Eating does not place enough importance on polyunsaturated fats, which lower the risk of heart disease, and should tell people to replace saturated fats with unsaturated fats. The NHMRC’s dietary guidelines are being updated for the first time in a decade.
The controversial draft NHMRC dietary guideline 2 says Australians should “limit intake of foods and drinks containing saturated and trans fats” and “include small amounts of foods that contain unsaturated fats”. The NHMRC earlier this year defended the draft guideline, saying it recommends that Australians eat between 14g and 28g of unsaturated spreads and oils, which is three times the amount specified in the existing guidelines.
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