The Heart Foundation launches new Food Guide

Heart Foundation visual

The Heart Foundation has launched its new visual food guide. 

This has been a two-and-a-half year project to develop a replacement for the old Heart Foundation food pyramid (withdrawn in 2005). The pre-testing with the general public found the new Food Guide to be an engaging, positive and supportive tool that felt friendly and do-able.

So what’s different from the old food pyramid?

  • The pyramid has been turned on its head, putting the best at the top.  Vegetables and fruit take up the biggest proportion of the ‘Healthy Heart’ to show we should ‘eat most’ of them.
  • It includes a health oils and nuts food group, as these are important for heart health.
  • Starchy vegetables are included with other starchy foods like breads, cereals and grains.
  • Instead of being a pyramid, it is in a heart shape to show its focus on eating for a healthy heart.
  • It focuses on proportional volume of foods rather than number of servings. This was in direct response to the baseline research where people strongly indicated that they didn’t want numbers or too much detail.
Information on the ‘Healthy Heart’ can be accessed here:

There are four main ‘Healthy Heart’ tools available:

  • Posters in A1, A3 and A4 size.  These can be ordered or downloaded here.
  • Tear off pad with a basic version of the guide and simple tips to get started on the back.
  • Background guide for health professionals.
  • A web app for consumers with a meal planner that shows how the selected dishes fill up the ‘Healthy Heart’, available here.
The ‘Healthy Heart’ was developed by a team from Te Hotu Manawa Māori, Pacific Heartbeat, the Health Promotion Agency, Paradigm Associates, and the Heart Foundation.

If you’d like to find out more about the research that went into the development of the ‘Healthy Heart’, brief summaries are available at the bottom of this link.

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