A new study from the University of New South Wales and University of Melbourne says the average Australian eats fewer carbohydrates and more fat per day than most other people.
The study, which was published in the Australian Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found Australians ate an average of less than 3.8 grams of sugar per day.
It also found that the average person was consuming between 1.4 grams of fat and 0.4 carbohydrates per day, while the average calorie intake was just over three calories per day for a middle-aged man.
“We found that our average person ate a little less than three grams of carbohydrate per day,” Dr Michelle Deans from the Department of Clinical Medicine at the University’s Medical School told News Corp Australia.
“They were eating a lot less fat and more protein, and it was mostly carbohydrate.”
Dr Deans said people were eating an average amount of carbohydrates because they were consuming a lot of food, and eating foods that contained high levels of fat, protein and sugars.
“Our findings are based on a population of people who are very healthy and eat a lot,” she said.
“There is a lot more information that needs to be known about how much sugar people are eating and whether they are getting enough fibre, fibre, vitamin B12 and omega-3s.”
Dr deans said the findings were not surprising.
“It’s not unusual for people to be eating more than they’re actually consuming,” she explained.
“When you’re eating at a very high carbohydrate and fat intake, you get more insulin and leptin and other hormones.”
Dr James Tissenbaum from the Australian Dietary Survey found people’s sugar intake was linked to their BMI and waist circumference.
“People who are more insulin sensitive tend to eat more carbohydrates, so those people are also eating more carbohydrates,” he told News Limited.
“In terms of waist circumference, people who have higher insulin sensitivity tend to have a smaller waist.”
Dr Tissebaum said people’s BMI had also been linked to the amount they consumed of sugar.
“This was the main factor in how much sugars they consumed, because we know the higher the BMI, the more sugars they consume,” he said.’
A bit too much’The findings are just one of a number of studies that have shown Australians’ daily sugar intake had been underestimated, according to Dr Deans.
“The people who had higher insulin and lower leptin were actually eating more sugar than people with a normal BMI,” she told News Radio Perth.
“And the sugar content of our diets was also pretty high, particularly in relation to fats and carbs.”
So the question is, what are people eating that’s contributing to that?
“Dr Dean said the research highlighted that sugar consumption should be balanced with other foods.”
Some people might be eating too much sugar and not getting enough fiber and nutrients, and so the more that you eat the less you need to eat,” she added.”
But we can’t just put the blame on one or the other.