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Food pyramid gets refresh

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Food pyramid gets refresh

The Heart Foundation is today launching a new ‘healthy heart’ food guide that will help encourage Kiwis to take simple steps towards eating better for their heart. The campaign is supported by the introduction of a modern and up-to-date take on the old food pyramid.

Delvina Gorton, National Nutrition Advisor for the Heart Foundation, says the Heart Foundation’s Healthy Heart Visual Food Guide (the ‘Healthy Heart’) is a tool to help Kiwis make simple, healthy eating choices as part of their daily life.

"The ‘Healthy Heart’ is a similar concept to the traditional food pyramid many of us fondly remember from when we were kids. We heard through our research that Kiwi’s liked the food pyramid and wanted a new, easy-to-follow guide to help their eating decisions. We’ve swapped out the pyramid for a heart that shows ‘at a glance’ the balance of foods to eat most of, eat some of, and cut back on to look after our hearts and overall wellbeing.

"Apart from the new shape, the biggest change is that vegetables and fruit are at the top and claim the biggest proportion of the heart to show we should ‘eat most’ of them. If you compare your shopping trolley to the proportions of foods in the ‘Healthy Heart’, ideally they’d look similar," says Delvina.

The ‘Healthy Heart’ has been developed and tested via consumer research and consultation with health professionals to deliver a simple tool for everyday use. It communicates ideal food proportions and balance, and gives a structure for a day’s eating. This memorable visual will help Kiwis easily recall what a healthy way of eating should look like when they are shopping or cooking.

"Our research showed that Kiwis rated their eating habits as moderately healthy, but were interested in doing a little bit better and needed positive encouragement to do so.

"We also found that while New Zealanders think looking after their heart is important, the main driver for people changing their habits is feeling better and improving their quality of life. The ‘Healthy Heart’ was designed with this in mind, and really focuses on things we can all do like adding one more vege a day and one less takeaway meal a week," she says.

"Kiwis are continuously bombarded with nutrition messages, fad diets and ‘must-have’ super-foods, and because of this overload, many people think healthy eating is expensive and unattainable.

"With the right tools and support healthier eating can be simple and achievable for everyone, as well as taste great. The ‘Healthy Heart’ has been developed to cut through the clutter and use clear and positive messages so people can find a starting point in taking simple steps to improve their heart health," says Delvina.

Consumer research revealed that:

- 69% of those asked rated the ‘Healthy Heart’ guide above average for perceived usefulness when going shopping

- 73% would find it useful when preparing evening meals

- 86% would be guided when preparing school lunches.

It takes only 21 days to break or create a new habit. "We really want to encourage New Zealanders to give the Heart Foundation’s Healthy Heart a go and see what simple changes they can make for heart health" says Delvina.

To get started check out www.heartfoundation.org.nz/healthyheart for an online tool that helps you build a shopping list and experiment with recipes to put the Healthy Heart Visual Food Guide into play.

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