Our Dietary Guidelines: better, but good enough?

Following consultation with stakeholders, the draft Australian Dietary Guidelines have been further refined, with some improvements in relation to cereal fibre, trans fats and added sugar. Even the mess around saturated fats has been tidied up a bit, but is it enough? 

The first post on The Sceptical Nutritionist highlighted several problems with the draft Australian Dietary Guidelines and these have been discussed in detail in recent months. Encouragingly, some of the issues appear to have been addressed during the consultation period. The clues come in a draft appendix to the Australian Dietary Guidelines that was recently released for consultation, which includes the latest version of the key Dietary Guidelines statements.

More emphasis on cereal fibre

There is now greater emphasis on cereal fibre. The previous statement that recommended cereal foods should be ‘mostly wholegrains’ has been changed to ‘mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties’. This is consistent with the science as many of the studies used to support the wholegrains recommendation used high fibre foods, suggesting that recommending high fibre cereal foods was equally valid.

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The Australian Paradox is confirmed: sugar intakes are falling

Last year’s contentious finding that intakes of sugar in Australia have declined over recent decades as obesity rates rose was attacked mercilessly, but the publication of a new report has vindicated the researchers.

In the last few years sugar has become public enemy number one in the fight against obesity. Not only is sugar supposedly making us all fat, sugar is actually toxic (Is sugar ‘toxic’?) and even addictive (Now sugar is ‘addictive). Or at least that’s the story you hear from the popular press.

With anti-sugar sentiment at fever pitch, two Australian nutritionists had a radical thought: why not look at some scientific evidence?

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