More Fiber, But Not Necessarily Less Fat, Good for Teen Diets

11 Nov 2011 --- The study found there was a three-fold increase in the number of children that had metabolic syndrome when the group of children receiving the least fiber was compared with the group receiving the most.

Nov 11 2011 --- A diet high in fiber - but not necessarily one low in saturated fat or cholesterol - is tied to a lower risk of heart disease and type-2 diabetes in teenagers, according to new findings from Michigan State University.

A study led by Joseph Carlson of MSU's Division of Sports and Cardiovascular Nutrition suggests to reduce metabolic syndrome - a collection of risk factors including high blood pressure and a large waistline - it is more important to emphasize diets including fiber-rich, nutrient-dense, plant-based foods than focus on restricting foods high in cholesterol or saturated fat.

The research is published in Journal of the American Dietetic Association.

"What we found is that as fiber intake increases, the risk for metabolic syndrome decreases," said Carlson, a registered dietitian and associate professor at MSU. "High-fiber, nutrient-dense foods are packed with heart healthy vitamins, minerals and chemicals that can positively affect many cardiovascular risk factors.

"It may be better to focus on including these foods than to focus, as is commonly done, on excluding foods high in saturated fat."

That does not mean, however, that teens should have carte blanche in eating foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol, Carlson said.

"It is well established that saturated fat can raise bad cholesterol," he said. "What this data suggest is the importance of including foods high in dietary fiber."

With the high availability of processed foods today, Carlson said, it is possible for teens to eat a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol but that also is low in fiber and nutrient-rich, plant-based foods. Recent national data indicates up to 30 percent of teens' dietary intake comes from beverages and sugar-rich snacks.

Due to low intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, the total dietary fiber intake in teens is about 13 grams per day, well below the recommendation of 26 grams and 38 grams for female and male adolescents, respectively.

In addition, obesity and other key risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome are on the rise in youth; more than 70 percent of teens in the study had at least one of the five risk factors used to assess metabolic syndrome: high blood pressure, high levels of sugar and fat in the blood, low levels of good cholesterol and a large waistline (a person having three or more of the factors are classified as having the syndrome).

"One of the takeaways is that our study reinforced the current dietary recommendations for dietary fiber intake by including a variety of plant-based foods," Carlson said. "A strategy of emphasizing fiber-rich foods may improve adherence to dietary recommendations."

The next step, he said, is to figure out the best methods to boost dietary fiber intakes to levels that will improve or sustain a desirable cardiovascular risk factor status. For example, if a person daily has three servings of fruit and vegetables (12 grams of fiber), one serving of beans (seven grams), and three servings of whole grain, they will be at about 30 grams of dietary fiber.

"The trick is getting people in the groove finding the foods that they both enjoy and are convenient," Carlson said.

As part of the cross-sectional study, Carlson and his team focused on data collected as part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey done from 1999-2002. They analyzed the diets of more than 2,100 boys and girls ages 12 to 19, looking at whether the teens had three or more conditions that make up metabolic syndrome.

The study found there was a three-fold increase in the number of children that had metabolic syndrome when the group of children receiving the least fiber was compared with the group receiving the most. There was not a significant relationship with either saturated fat or cholesterol intake.

Related Articles

Nutrition & Health News

Targeted well-being solutions: VTT explores digitally supported food services and concepts

19 Mar 2018 --- Based on a consumer-centric approach, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed digitally supported innovative food services and concepts to promote well-being from eating. VTT’s research project, Vital Selfie, aims to assist the food industry in developing and launching targeted wellbeing solutions for various consumer groups globally. Private-sector partners included Valio, Raisio, Sinebrychoff, Fazer Food Services and TBWA.

Nutrition & Health News

Study suggests sucralose may intensify Crohn's disease symptoms, Tate & Lyle cites lack of evidence

19 Mar 2018 --- The usage of the artificial sweetener sucralose, better known by the brand name Splenda, may intensify symptoms of Crohn’s disease in those who already have the condition, a study has found. The findings, published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, found that the sweetener worsened gut inflammation in mice who had Crohn’s-like disease. However Tate & Lyle, manufactures of Splenda, responded to the study saying, “We see no evidence in this study that contradicts the safety of sucralose ingredient.” The study found sucralose to have no adverse effects on healthy people.

Nutrition & Health News

High omega 6 levels can protect against premature death, cardiovascular disease: study

19 Mar 2018 --- According to a new University of Eastern Finland study, omega 6 fatty acids can help prevent premature death acids and keep cardiovascular diseases at bay. The study lends support to findings from earlier population-based studies which have linked a higher dietary intake of linoleic acid and a higher blood linoleic acid level to a smaller risk of cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes, without increasing the risk of cancer. The observed association of arachidonic acid (a type of polyunsaturated omega 6 fatty acid) with a reduced risk of death is a new finding.

Nutrition & Health News

Significant weight loss boosts chances for type 2 diabetes remission, stresses Diabetes UK

16 Mar 2018 --- In light of studies finding that weight loss may make remission possible in type 2 diabetics, new nutritional guidelines from Diabetes UK will encourage healthy and personalized eating patterns. Diets should be specific to patients as "there is not [a] one-size-fits-all approach" for diabetics. The guidelines are evidence-based and reflect recent research advances, chiefly of a Diabetes UK funded study called DIRECT.

Nutrition & Health News

Beverage innovation: Targeted nutrition, collagen and functional botanicals star at Expo West

15 Mar 2018 --- Hyper-customization, collagen and functional botanicals were among the most innovative and prevalent trends at this year’s Expo West, according to an insights report released by Imbibe, a US beverage development company. 

More Articles