Australians Urged To Rethink What They Eat

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8th December 2009, 02:17pm - Views: 716

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Embargo: 00.01am, Wednesday, 9 December, 2009

Healthy Food A Casualty Of Tight Food Budgets

Australians Urged To Re-Think Health Value Of What They Eat

For less than 50c a day Flora pro-activ can reduce your cholesterol absorption

by up to 15% when also moving to a healthy diet

Tough times have seen shoppers seeking cheaper meal options but they may be forgetting about

their cholesterol and heart health in their efforts to save a few dollars. While some heart-healthy foods

may cost a little more, they give proven health benefits and therefore offer good value.  For example,

for less than 50 cents a day Flora pro-activ can reduce your cholesterol absorption by up to 15%

when also moving to a healthy diet.

A re-think of the foods we buy in terms of heart health benefits is required as trends suggest we are

actually buying more unhealthy food.  Fast food restaurants selling burgers, fries, pizza and fried

chicken are experiencing growth



Even the trend towards home cooking seems to be forgetting about

heart heath. Saturated-fat rich butter and cream were among the fastest growing categories in 2008,

while cheese, biscuits, snack foods and cakes were also among categories in growth


. All these foods

are likely to increase cholesterol when eaten in excess.

While unhealthy food might save a few cents now, this is false economy when you consider the cost

of poor heart health in the future. The Heart Foundation says poor diet and high cholesterol are major

preventable risk factors


.Fifty percent of Australian adults have cholesterol over 5.5


and this statistic

has not improved in 20 years


Dr Andrew Binns, President of the Australian Lifestyle Medicine Association (ALMA) is a strong

advocate of lifestyle change to maintain heart health. “The right diet is absolutely vital for people

affected by cholesterol. Foods high in saturated fat and trans-fat are bad for cholesterol, while plant

sterol-enriched foods are very helpful. Other foods to include for a healthy heart are healthy oils and

spreads, vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and fish. Although some of these heart-healthy foods may

cost a little more, they offer great health value. Plant sterol spreads are a good example: they are

proven to lower cholesterol absorption and recommended for people with cholesterol concerns” he


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While many people believe plant sterol spreads are expensive, the plant sterols in just 1 rounded

tablespoon (25g) of Flora pro-activ a day can lower cholesterol absorption by an average of 10

percent in 3 weeks, plus an additional 5 percent when also moving to a healthy diet. Plant sterol

enriched foods are effective in lowering cholesterol absorption and therefore provide excellent cost


Accredited Nutritionist for Flora, Brooke Sprott, says managing your cholesterol with Flora pro-activ is

a worthwhile investment in your future heart health.  For less than the price of a postage stamp- 50c a

day- you can reduce your cholesterol absorption”. 

Other heart-healthy foods people often perceive as expensive are fresh fruit and vegetables. Their

health benefits are well known and a closer inspection of their price per kilogram shows they are

better value than many people realise.

Price per kilogram comparison of fresh fruits and vegetables vs less healthy foods


Supermarket brand baking/roasting potatoes $2/kg vs leading brand take-away French fries



Sweet corn $4.00/kg vs leading brand corn chips $16.30/kg

Red Delicious apples $5/kg vs leading brand chocolate bar with caramel & nougat $36/kg

Healthy foods must take priority in the grocery basket for long term health and wellbeing. Even if they

cost a little more, foods with proven health benefits are worth it.

-- ENDS –

Issued by Publicis Life Brands on behalf of Unilever Australasia.

Background information



The two largest players McDonalds and Yum! Restaurants have reported sales growth in 2009. Australian Food News.

McDonald’s sales growth slows, Australia still strong. Available at URL

Australian Food News. Available at URL KFC

owner sees profits soar. Accessed 9 Oct 2009


Nielsen Australia. The Grocery Report 2008. Available at URL


Heart Foundation(Australia). Cardiovascular disease statistics. Available from URL


Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW). High blood cholesterol. Available at URL



To arrange an interview, or for further information, please contact Publicis Life Brands: 

Emma Norgrove –, Ph: (02) 9006 2941, M: 0405 507 556

Natasha Ciesielski- Ph: (02) 9006 2943, M: 0407 683 716

People Feature Unilever Australasia 3 image

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Australian Institute of Health & Welfare (AIHW) 2004. Heart, stroke and vascular diseases – Australian facts 2004.  Available


Food prices from Coles Online: Coles potatoes, sweet corn, Doritos corn chips original 200g, Mars bar 53g. Available at URL Accessed 20.10.09


French fries price based on cost of large fries ($2.75 for 130g) from McDonalds menu board price on 22.10.09.

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