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Media release: New Heart Foundation Nutrition Guidelines should promote plant-based diets

For immediate release
Attention: health, medical, lifestyle editor
Issued: 22 August 2019

The healthiest diet for our heart, and indeed human and environmental health more widely, is a whole food plant-based diet.

The healthiest diet for our heart, and indeed human and environmental health more widely, is a whole food plant-based diet
The healthiest diet for our heart, and indeed human and environmental health more widely, is a whole food plant-based diet

Doctors For Nutrition were pleased to see that new nutritional guidance from The Heart Foundation promotes eating more plant foods including fruit, vegetables and wholegrains. They also encourage reducing processed meat and highly processed junk foods.

However, in failing to promote a whole food plant-based diet, the guidelines missed an opportunity to reduce rates of heart disease and save thousands of Australian lives.

The move to endorse unflavoured full-fat milk, yogurt and cheese, and lift the limit on the number of eggs that can be eaten per week, will put our communities at greater risk of disease and death. Full fat dairy products and eggs are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Evidence shows that as dietary saturated fat and cholesterol increases, so does our risk of heart disease.

The Heart Foundation have themselves acknowledged, “research tells us that a plant-based diet can be beneficial in lowering bad LDL cholesterol, it can help people maintain a healthy weight and blood pressure and can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and many other health problems.” Research by doctors Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn also demonstrates that a whole food plant-based diet can reverse advanced heart disease.

Doctors For Nutrition calls on the Heart Foundation to amend their guidance to clearly promote the safest diet for individuals wanting to prevent or manage heart disease: one heavily emphasising whole plant foods and discouraging high-fat and animal-based foods. Our organisation would welcome the opportunity to work with The Heart Foundation to achieve the best evidence-based guidance to protect against our number one killer.

Ends.

For Further Information & Comment

Dr Heleen Haitjema is available for comment on 0432 994 909 or via email.

doctorsfornutrition.org/cardiovascular-disease

Download a PDF version of this media release here.

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