Aussie snacks like avocado, avocado chips, and avocado water are good for your waistline, according to research published today.
Key points:Research suggests you need to eat more than you can handle in a day to avoid obesityThe study compared the diets of 1,500 people on average to determine how much energy a typical day takes inA diet low in sugar, high in fruit and vegetables and low in processed foods could be the best way to combat obesity and heart diseaseThe research by researchers at Melbourne’s Monash University found that the people on a low-sugar, high-fruit and vegetable diet were less likely to be obese than those on a high-sugary diet.
Researchers found people who ate more fruit and veggies and less processed foods were less active and had a lower body mass index (BMI).
The study, published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Medicine, compared the average calorie intake of 1.5 million Australian adults between the ages of 45 and 74 to see how much they needed to eat each day to keep their waistlines in check.
It found the diet low-fat, low sugar, moderate fruit and vegetable consumption was the best diet for the weight loss.
The study also found that eating the recommended amount of fruit and veg and a high intake of fibre was also helpful.
“The research shows that people who eat a low carbohydrate diet and moderate fruit/vegetable intake are able to reduce their risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer,” Professor Mark Richardson, a research fellow at the University of Melbourne and the lead author of the study, said.
“People with lower levels of sugar consumption have lower levels and higher risk of heart disease, cancer, type 1 diabetes, stroke and type 2 diabetics.”
Professor Richardson said he was surprised by the results, given that people eating a low carbohydrate diet, moderate fat, moderate protein and high fibre diet were also less likely than those eating a high carbohydrate diet to be overweight.
“In a healthy society we need to be eating more, more vegetables and more fruit, and the low carbohydrate, moderate-fat and moderate protein diets that we’re eating now are not healthy enough for most people,” he said.
He said the results suggested the diet could be a great choice for people who are overweight or obese and were struggling with eating enough.
“I’m glad that our research has given us some answers, it’s not going to solve the problem, but it’s going to help us make better choices and to keep our waistlines healthy,” Professor Richardson said.
The research, conducted in Australia, was based on data from the Health Survey of Australia and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.
Professor Richardson, who is also the co-director of the Monash Institute for Health and Medicine, said people with diabetes were also likely to eat less fruit and fruit products, and this could be because of the effects of sugar.
“Our study showed that people with type 2 Diabetes are more likely to drink more fruit juice, have more consumption of sugar and less consumption of fruit,” he explained.
“It’s not just the fruits, but also the whole fruit that they are consuming.”
Dr Elizabeth Meehan, director of the Melbourne Obesity Unit at the Melbourne Heart Foundation, said fruit was a staple in Australian diets and the results showed a correlation between the type of fruit consumed and the risk of type 2 Diabetes.
“Research shows that if you have a diet that includes a lot of fruit, you have the best chance of reducing your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes,” Dr Meehm said.
Dr Meehhan said it was important to focus on healthy eating and avoiding processed foods.
“We can do that with a low sugar diet, low fat diet, or moderate fruit juice diet, but we can also do that by getting more fibre, more fibre with vegetables, a whole fruit and a healthy snack bar,” she said.
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