High fiber, low fat diet beneficial for heart health in children

March 8, 2006 in Heart Health, Nutrition for Children and Teenagers, Nutrition Topics in the News

High fiber, low fat diet beneficial for heart health in children

According to study findings presented at the American Heart Associationís annual conference, overweight children fed a nutritious diet and encouraged to do regular physical activity experienced a dramatic reduction in cholesterol levels after just 2 weeks.

The study, which involved children between the ages of 9 and 15, fed participants a diet high in fiber, low in fat and cholesterol and rich in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains with moderate amounts of lean protein. The study participants were allowed to eat as much as they liked of the foods provided. On average, study participants exercised an average of 2.5 hours a day.

After 2 weeks, total cholesterol levels fell an average of 21 percent, while LDL (bad) cholesterol dropped 25 percent.

Researchers say these findings suggest simple changes in diet and exercise can have significant protective effects against heart disease.

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