Heart Foun­da­tion re­sponds

The Orchardist - - Contents -

The Or­chardist put some ques­tions to the Heart Foun­da­tion’s na­tional nu­tri­tion ad­vi­sor Delv­ina Gor­ton:

o:Why was the avocado placed in a po­si­tion where peo­ple would as­sume it was "bad" food, right at the bot­tom un­der "use some"?

hf:The vis­ual food guide isn’t a ‘rank­ing’ of good and bad foods.

The rel­a­tive pro­por­tion of the food groups in the vis­ual food guide is a guide to the pro­por­tional vol­ume of the food groups to eat. The foods we want to en­cour­age peo­ple to eat are shown in the heart. The foods we rec­om­mend peo­ple re­duce their in­take of are out­side the heart.

Healthy oils and nuts, in­clud­ing av­o­ca­dos, are a very en­ergy dense food group and so they take up a smaller pro­por­tional vol­ume. How­ever, they are an im­por­tant part of a heart-healthy diet, which is why the vis­ual food guide rec­om­mends peo­ple ‘use some’. The vis­ual food guide was de­signed as a pos­i­tive tool that fo­cused on what we want peo­ple to be eat­ing, and this is ex­actly how ev­ery­one it’s been tested on in­ter­preted it – they loved that it fo­cused on what they should eat. Avocado is botan­i­cally a fruit. How­ever, food groups are de­vel­oped based on nutritional equiv­a­lence and how foods are com­monly used. As av­o­ca­dos are high in healthy fats, which is quite dif­fer­ent to other fruit, they are in­cluded with other sources of healthy fats like nuts and oils. It is well ac­cepted that good di­etary sources of fats are veg­etable oils, av­o­ca­dos, nuts and seeds. Av­o­ca­dos are also used in dif­fer­ent ways to other fruit. Most peo­ple don’t eat an avocado in the same way they would, say, an ap­ple.

Q:HortNZ has asked you to re­move the avocado from the vis­ual. What is your re­sponse to HortNZ? What have you told the avocado in­dus­try in re­sponse to their ap­proaches to you?

hf:As a source of good fat we be­lieve it is im­por­tant av­o­ca­dos are rep­re­sented on the guide. We en­cour­age peo­ple to in­clude avocado within their di­ets but it’s im­por­tant to re­mem­ber that one avocado has half the to­tal fat an av­er­age per­son should eat in a day from all food sources, and one-fifth of their en­ergy in­take.

The Healthy Heart vis­ual food guide is based on the car­dio-pro­tec­tive di­etary pat­tern. Th­ese guide­lines were de­vel­oped by the Min­istry of Health, and are sup­ported by the NZ So­ci­ety for the Study of Di­a­betes, Te Hotu Manawa M-aori, Kid­ney Health, Stroke Foun­da­tion, Di­a­betes NZ, Heart Foun­da­tion and the NZ Guide­lines Group.

The diet is based on a de­tailed ex­am­i­na­tion of the sci­en­tific re­search on foods and nu­tri­ents and their im­pact on car­dio­vas­cu­lar risk, and has been in place since 2003.

We have been in touch with the rel­e­vant par­ties to dis­cuss our po­si­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.