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MyFitnessPal 2 mins read

22nd February, Australia - Aussies could be swiping left on saturated fats this year, with new research revealing people are navigating a heart-healthy breakup with the macronutrient. 


The research, commissioned by global food and nutrition tracking app MyFitnessPal found that almost two thirds (64%) of Australian adults are looking to reduce their saturated fats intake, with heart disease the biggest concern for almost half (46%), followed by weight gain (38%).


However, despite their best intentions, a concerning 50% of Aussies are seriously overestimating how much saturated fats should be consumed each day. In fact, the findings showed an alarming amount of foods high in this macronutrient were being consumed each week – with red meat (55%), cheese (49%), and confectionery such as crisps and chocolate (41%) topping the list.


“There is a large disconnect between Australians' nutritional aspirations, and the current reality. While there is an abundance of advice that exists when it comes to looking after your body, what the research points to is that Aussies still just don’t know where to start,”says fitness coach and author, Luke Hines. 


Saturated fats can be hidden in many foods, particularly meat and full cream dairy products. With only 10% being the daily recommended caloric intake, regularly consuming products high in this macronutrient – which can increase LDL cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease – without keeping track can easily lead to overconsumption. 


Food and nutrition tracking apps, such as MyFitnessPal, provide users with the tools to create lasting food changes. By making us aware of what we’re putting into our bodies, we are able to better understand how our food choices impact us daily. This includes the quantity and quality of these foods, which can otherwise be difficult to ensure we are getting the right balance. 


“Diet is a critical part of our battle against premature heart disease, particularly atherosclerosis (cholesterol-related hardening and blockage of arteries),” says Prof Andrew Coats, Scientific Director and CEO at the Heart Research Institute. 


“We have known for many years the key component of a healthy diet is limited amounts of red meat, dairy produce and other saturated fats, and a cap on sugar and added salt on food. Plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables are to be recommended along with regular physical activity and the maintenance of a normal body weight.”


Only 7% of Australians admitted to using a tracking app to keep track of their saturated fat intake, with almost half (48%) believing they are in fact, consuming too much. 


“Less than a quarter of Australians are keeping tabs on their saturated fat intake, despite being concerned about the implications of having a high amount in their diets. Tracking is truly the first step to making healthier choices for those looking to make lasting changes for the benefit of their heart,” added Luke. 


With heart disease still one of Australia’s leading causes of death, MyFitnessPal is urging Aussies to keep track of their saturated fat intake and do their part in maintaining a healthy heart. 


To kick start your way to a healthier heart, download MyFitnessPal on Apple, Google and other android platforms.

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