Food that's been given the Heart Foundation Tick of approval could be improving Kiwi diets, new research suggests.
Otago University researchers have analysed the nutritional make up of 45 newly-licensed Tick products between 2011 and 2013.
The Heart Foundation Tick logos
They studied foods that contributed saturated fat to the Kiwi diet such as margarine-type spreads, frozen desserts, yoghurts, ready meals and processed poultry.
Upon comparing newly-licensed Tick products with a previous formulation, or a non-Tick product, researchers noticed positive improvements.
They calculated manufacturers had removed 4 million megajoules of energy, 171 tonnes of saturated and trans-fat, and four tonnes of sodium from foods bought in New Zealand over the study period.
Study co-author Dr Louise Mainvil said the Tick programme appeared to be improving the nutrient content of some foods sold in New Zealand, which could in turn help improve population health.
Further research was needed to determine the impact of the entire Tick programme on the nation's health, she said.