Posted on Dec 01, 2011, 6 a.m.
A diet high in fiber, but not necessarily low in saturated fat or cholesterol, associates with lower risks of heart disease and type II diabetes, in adolescents.
Metabolic Syndrome is a condition characterized by central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. As a consequence of a sedentary lifestyle and generally poor nutritional habits, the number of cases of Metabolic Syndrome among adolescents is on the rise. Joseph J. Carlson, from Michigan State University (Michigan, USA), and colleagues assessed data collected on 2,100 American boys and girls, ages 12 to 19 years, participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The researchers found a three-fold increase in the incidence of Metabolic Syndrome among those who consumed the least fiber, as compared to those who consumed the most. However, the team did not find a significant relationship between either saturated fat or cholesterol intake, and Metabolic Syndrome incidence. Among its conclusions, the study authors write that: “it is … important to emphasize a paradigm that promotes the inclusion of fiber-rich, nutrient-dense, plant-based foods.”
Joseph J. Carlson, Joey C. Eisenmann, Gregory J. Norman, Karen A. Ortiz, et al. “Dietary Fiber and Nutrient Density Are Inversely Associated with the Metabolic Syndrome in US Adolescents.” Journal of the American Dietetic Association Vol. 111, Issue 11, Pages 1688-1695; November 2011.