High Fiber Trumps Low Fat




When food shopping, concentrate on fiber content, rather than just the amount of fat, suggests a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. New Michigan State University (MSU) research suggests that foods high in fiber—but not necessarily low in saturated fats or cholesterol—are tied to lowering the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes in teens; it’s a generation noted to be at high risk for developing chronic disease, due in part to the popularity of processed foods with this age group. The researchers found that due to low consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, the teens’ total dietary fiber intake was about 13 grams a day, well below the recommended 26 grams and 38 grams for female and male adolescents, respectively.

“Our study reinforced the current dietary recommendations for fiber intake by including a variety of plant-based foods,” says lead author Joseph Carlson, a registered dietician and associate professor at MSU. “It may be better to focus on including these foods than to focus, as is commonly done, on excluding foods high in saturated fat.”

Teens are not the only ones that benefit from a fiber-rich diet. A recent report published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed that adult women and men that eat at least 26 grams and 30 grams of fiber a day, respectively, had a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases.

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