A recent study that evaluated over 2,000 U.S. teens from ages 12 to 19, revealed that the teens who ate more fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables and whole grains, were less likely to have risk factors for diabetes and heart disease. This study was published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association this month. The study is based on government data collected between 1999 and 2002 for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
The study also evaluated if the teens had three or more conditions that make up metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is not a disease. It is comprised of several risk factors (high blood pressure, elevated levels of sugar and fats in the blood, low levels of HDL or “good” cholesterol, and a large waistline) that place a person at risk for developing diabetes and heart disease.
Overall, about 6% of the teens had metabolic syndrome. Specifically, 9% of the teens that ate the least fiber had metabolic syndrome, whereas, only 3% of the teens who ate the most fiber had metabolic syndrome.
This means that in order to minimize the risk factors of metabolic syndrome, teens should try to eat a healthy diet with fiber-rich foods, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
For more info on a healthy diet, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, please go to https://www.choosemyplate.gov/.