Poultry meat received favourable coverage in the Revised Australian Dietary Guidelines, which was issued by Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council for public discussion in December 2011. This major government-issued document is expected to help shape health policy in Australia in the coming years and will also be studied by health policy-makers and professionals in New Zealand. Here are some key points:
- Poultry is seen as an important component of Australian cuisine, culture and lifestyle (this is equally valid for New Zealand), and in addition to being protein-rich is recognised as providing a wide variety of important nutrients including iodine, iron, zinc, vitamins, esp. B12 and essential fatty acids including long chain omega-3 fatty acids.
- The recommended consumption of lean meat for both children and adults is 1-3 serves a day, reducing with age (51 years to 70). A maximum of 455g per week (1 serve or 65g per day) of lean meat is recommended for Australian adults. In order to meet recommended intakes, omnivorous adults in Australia need to consume 40% more poultry, fish, seafood and eggs etc. (N.B. This excludes red meat.) Children need to eat 30-85% more poultry, eggs etc.
- The literature review for the Guidelines found little evidence linking consumption of poultry with cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and excess weight.
The full texts of the Revised Australian Dietary Guidelines and a Guide to Healthy Eating are available as PDFs at www.eatforhealth.gov.au.