This Easter, Australians can have their chocolate eggs and their heart health by following the Heart Healthy Eating Pattern.

The real treat will be the healthy habits you’ll be left with after the long weekend, which will help to significantly lower your lifetime risk of developing heart disease.

According to data, more than 90% of Australian children and adults do not consume enough fruits and vegetables.

The average Australian consumes one-third of their daily energy from discretionary foods, which are high in unhealthy fats, added sugars, and sodium.

So, in a world where some of the most tempting foods are often the worst for our heart health, how can people make small, effective, and long-lasting changes to their eating habits? Heart Healthy Eating Pattern was launched in 2019 in response to alarming data showing that 95 percent of Australians do not consume enough fruit and vegetables.

Furthermore, the average Australian gets one-third of their daily energy from processed foods high in fat, sugar, and salt.

The Heart Healthy Eating Pattern is intended to help Australians develop lifelong healthy habits that are far more effective than fad dieting – and it is available for free on the Heart Foundation’s websiteJemma explains that a Pattern trumps a fad diet because it focuses on creating good eating habits, and not excluding foods.

“Diets are like really hard video games: one wrong move and they tell you it’s game over,” she said, “and as a result you’re more likely just to give up than try again.

“A Heart Healthy Eating Pattern helps you to eat healthy more often than not in a world where holiday and birthday celebrations with discretionary foods is common.

“For the large majority of the year you’ll be eating the best possible foods to protect your heart, and don’t need to feel bad about enjoying a little chocolate at Easter, some treats at other festive times, and a piece of cake on your birthday.”