Low-cost heart-healthy bread for NZ

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016 | Kate Sloane | 11 Comments

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Prof Nick Wilson, Dr Nhung Nghiem, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Nisha Nair, Prof Tony Blakely

Figure 1: The loaf of the left is the optimised HHB$1.5 loaf. The loaf in the middle is the optimised HHB$3 loaf which is high in ground linseed. The loaf on the right is one that is high in walnut (but which was subsequently excluded from further study due to its relatively high cost at NZ$5). All loaves made in a home bread-making machine (Photography: Pascale Otis).

Figure 1: The loaf of the left is the optimised HHB$1.5 loaf. The loaf in the middle is the optimised HHB$3 loaf which is high in ground linseed. The loaf on the right is one that is high in walnut (but which was subsequently excluded from further study due to its relatively high cost at NZ$5). All loaves made in a home bread-making machine (Photography: Pascale Otis).

This blog reports on a study we just published on optimising the design of bread for heart health. Using linear programming we found it possible to design breads that are nutritionally superior to commercially available breads in 15 countries from a heart health perspective, as well as being lower cost. Such bread designs could be promoted by health agencies and utilised in conjunction with a government-funded bread voucher system for those at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
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Digesting things further: High dietary salt intakes are almost certainly problematic

Friday, November 14th, 2014 | Kate Sloane | 3 Comments

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Associate Professor Nick Wilson, Professor Tony Blakely, Dr Cristina Cleghorn, Dr Nisha Nair

Too much saltWe recently did a blog post on dietary salt and health, particularly with regard to a new large prospective study (the PURE Study). This facilitated useful feedback from others, along with input from colleagues in a journal club we ran. Based on these discussions, we now have stronger concerns about remaining reverse causation in the PURE Study (and persisting concerns regarding other aspects). Here we update some of our thinking and conclude that the totality of the available evidence is sufficient for health authorities to continue taking a range of evidence-based actions to reduce the hazard of high salt intakes. Again however we invite critical comment on our assessment and suggestions on where to from here.

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Mounting Complexities in the Dietary Salt & Health Relationship

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014 | Kate Sloane | 9 Comments

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Associate Professor Nick Wilson, Professor Tony Blakely, Dr Cristina Cleghorn

salt picA large prospective study on dietary salt and health has recently been reported in the New England Journal of Medicine. While reinforcing extensive past work that a (very) high intake of salt is hazardous to health – an increased hazard was also found for low intakes of salt (i.e., a “J-shaped” or “U-shaped” relationship). This blog post considers this new study in more detail and suggests that we need a high-level international review to clarify the research and policy agenda from here. Our interpretation should be treated as preliminary on what may be an important study; therefore, we welcome and encourage comments on this blog post.  [SEE MULTIPLE COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG BELOW.  AND IN PARTICULAR SEE SUBSEQUENT BLOG WHERE WE UPDATE ANALYSIS BELOW BASED ON DISCUSSIONS WITH COLLEAGUES – IMPORTANT.]

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