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Kiwis aren't making healthy diet choices - study

Newshub logoNewshub 12/09/2017 Dave Goosselink

A new study has revealed Kiwis still aren't making healthy choices when it comes to managing their diet.

While at-risk adults are good at getting their cholesterol measured most don't do anything more about it.

Despite high levels of screening for cardiovascular disease, human nutrition expert Jim Mann says it's hard getting people to take action.

"Many people having been checked and found to have raised cholesterol or raised blood pressure are not actually doing anything about it," he says.

"And I think that really is a cause of great concern."

<p>Experts say it's hard to get people to take action against <g class="gr_ gr_3 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins replaceWithoutSep" data-gr-id="3" id="3">cardiovascular</g> disease.</p> © Video - Newshub; Image - File

Experts say it's hard to get people to take action against cardiovascular disease.

The prescription hasn't changed, increase physical activity, and reduce saturated fat in the diet.

Plant sterols are also a popular way of improving heart health which is already used in some margarines and now they're being added to a version of a favourite kiwi breakfast cereal.

"So plant sterols are added because they have that cholesterol-lowering effect. They lower LDL or bad cholesterol," Sanitarium nutritionist Stephanie Polson says.

The new product took over two years to develop clinical trials testing the effectiveness of adding one gram of plant sterols to each biscuit.

The trial found eating two of the specially-formulated Weet-Bix a day helped lower cholesterol levels in patients by up to 9 percent after a month.

"I was absolutely amazed at my results. And I found it really easy. It was just two Weet-Bix a day and just part of my daily routine," trial patient Jenny Cheng says.

Professor Mann adds plant sterols should be a useful addition to other lifestyle changes... and not relied on as a replacement.

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