Behind the Hype information sheets
To assist health professionals and other sector workers decipher fact from fiction, HPA is undertaking factual reviews of topical issues. These two-page information sheets contain evidence-based advice to help you provide clear consistent information to consumers.
SugarThere is widespread confusion around the different types and sources of dietary sugar. This Behind the Hype helps explain the health concerns linked to eating too much sugar, the difference between intrinsic and added sugars, and recommendations for a healthy diet.
Nutrition supplements in pregnancy and breastfeedingMeeting the increased nutrition needs druing pregnancy and breastfeeding is important, however expensive supplements are often marketed to parents wanting to conceive, during pregnancy and when breastfeeding. Read this Behind the Hype to learn which nutrition supplements are needed, the importance of a healthy diet, and who is at an increased risk of deficiency.
SaltNew Zealanders consume more sodium than needed. This Behind the Hype information sheet will help you answer questions about where salt in food comes from, why too much salt is an issue and how much salt is too much.
Coconut oilThere is a lot of misinformation about coconut oil. This Behind the Hype information sheet will help you answer the tough questions about coconut oil and explain why plant-based oils are a healthier cooking oil choice.
Sports drinksAre you confused about who needs sports drinks and when? This Behind the Hype information sheet takes the mystery out of using these beverages. You may be surprised to learn that very few people do enough exercise to need a sports drink.
CarbohydratesConfused about carbohydrates? This Behind the Hype information sheet will help you answer questions about why carbohydrates are essential for good health, what types you should be eating the most of and those you should limit.
High protein supplementsProtein supplements are increasingly popular with people playing sports or working out. This Behind the Hype information sheet explains why most people involved in regular physical activity don’t require supplements.
SweetenersWant to know what sweeteners are and why they're added to food? This Behind the Hype information sheet will take some of the mystery out of artificial and intense sweeteners.
CaffeineCaffeine is a mild stimulant that can be either naturally occurring or added to food and drinks. This Behind the Hype information sheet will shed some light on caffeine in our diets and who should limit their intake.
Weight loss dietsMany of the latest diet trends promise fast and easy weight loss. This information sheet provides a list of ‘red-flag’ diet characteristics to avoid and gives evidence-based advice on what to tell people wanting to lose weight.
Lite vs light claimsFoods labelled as 'lite' or 'light' can confuse people looking for the healthier option. This Behind the Hype information sheet explains what these claims mean and how to be sure you're making the healthier choice.
Energy drinksSome supermarkets in New Zealand have banned the sale of energy drinks to under sixteen year olds. This Behind the Hype information sheet will provide information to help you explain why energy drinks are not recommended as part of a healthy diet, particularly for children, and for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Plant-based milk alternativesHealth concerns, sustainability and changing diets are some of the reasons people are choosing plant-based alternatives to cow’s milk. This Behind the Hype information sheet provides advice and recommendations about replacing cow’s milk in the diet, particularly for young children, who have high nutrition needs.
ButterSome argue that butter is a healthier and more ‘natural’ choice than margarine and other table spreads. However, butter is high in saturated fats and there is evidence that this is not good for our cardiovascular health. This fact sheet explains the different types of dietary fat and gives practical advice to help make informed dietary choices.
Milk for infants and toddlersBreastfeeding provides optimum nutrition for infants. However, for mums who are not breastfeeding, there may be confusion about which milk to provide to their infants and toddlers at each age and stage. This Behind the Hype information sheet explains which milks are recommended, the nutritional content of different formula milks, and drinks to avoid for this age group.
Food and immune functionMany people are looking for ways to strengthen their immune system. There is a widespread misconception that it is possible to boost immune function with a specific food or nutrition supplement, and this can detract from the importance of overall diet quality. This Behind the Hype fact sheet provides information and advice about diet, nutrition supplements and how best to support immune function.
Fermented foodsInterest in fermented foods has surged in recent years. This Behind the Hype fact sheet explains what fermented foods are, discusses health and safety aspects of eating fermented foods, and reviews the evidence for health benefits
Low-carbohydrate high-fat dietsThere is widespread public confusion about the optimal balance of fats, carbohydrates and protein for a healthy diet. This Behind the Hype fact sheet provides information about fats and carbohydrates as part of a healthy diet. Information is also provided on low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets and weight management.