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Raw Deal for Extra Virgin Olive Oil in Draft New Australian Dietary Guidelines
The internationally recognised health benefits of extra virgin olive oil do not rate in the draft Australian Dietary Guidelines released on 13 December by the National Health and Medical Research Council.
While other ingredients in the Mediterranean Diet – grains, legumes, cheese etc - are recommended, the overall thrust is for reduced fat intake. The guidelines recommend that some saturated fat is replaced by vegetable oils high in monounsaturated fats – extra virgin olive oil doesn’t rate a mention despite being high in monounsaturated fats and anti-oxidants.
The Guidelines are out for public consultation until the 29 February 2012.
Recent data published in ‘The Australian and New Zealand Olive Grower and Processor’ showed that the per capita consumption of olive oil in Australia is on the decline. The olive industry would benefit from a well researched submission by their representative body extolling the virtues of including extra virgin olive oil in the national diet. The Guidelines are used by many who are responsible for setting healthy diets and associated promotions.
For copies of the Draft and feedback go to http://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/page/public-consultation