Australian adults will need to increase their nut consumption by 350% to meet the recommended daily intake identified in the dietary modeling that underpins the new Australian Dietary Guidelines, released today.
The guidelines – based on an analysis of more than 55,000 peer-reviewed scientific papers and are supported by comprehensive dietary modelling – establish recommendations for the types and amounts of food to consume for good health and chronic disease prevention.
Nuts for Life, the Australian tree nut industry’s nutrition body, has applauded the call to dramatically increase nut consumption.
“Our data shows just two per cent of Australians currently eat 30g or a handful of nuts a day. And just 58% only eat nuts once a month or less,” said Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nuts for Life Program Manager Ms Lisa Yates.
“People are still hung-up on the low-fat diet obsession from the 90s with an unfounded fear of weight gain – the number one reason 98% of Australian don’t eat the recommended 30g or a handful of nuts every day.
“Extensive scientific research shows eating nuts as part of an energy controlled diet does not cause weight gain, in fact for the first time the Dietary Guidelines reinforce the importance of good fats in your diet.”
The new Dietary Guidelines call on people to limit saturated fat intake and switch unhealthy saturated fats for healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats like those found in nuts and avocados.
“That’s as easy as switching a handful of potato chips for a handful of nuts,” said Ms Yates. Nuts remain in the protein food group of the new Dietary Guidelines. Nuts are nutrient-rich whole s that are important to general wellbeing and chronic disease prevention, in particular heart disease and diabetes. Consuming a handful (30g) of nuts at least five times a week has been shown to reduce the risk of developing heart disease by 30-50% and the risk of developing diabetes by 25%.
For tips on including nuts in your diet and nutrition information visit www.nutsforlife.com.au
Issued on behalf of Nuts For Life
Nuts for Life is a nutrition communications initiative of the Australian Tree Nut Industry and Horticulture Australia to provide information about the nutrition and health benefits of tree nuts.