Following a fiber rich diet reduces the risk of diabetes and heart disease among teenagers, according to a new study published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association.
Researchers from the Michigan State University said that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables reduced the risk factors associated with heart disease and diabetes as they are rich in vitamins, minerals and other chemicals.
The researchers conducted the study on more than 2,000 teenagers in the United States between 12 to 19 years of age. The researchers tested for what is known as metabolic syndrome: set of conditions such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar levels, large waistline, low levels of HDL (good cholesterol) and high levels of fat in the blood.
The researchers found that approximately 6 percent of the teenagers had the metabolic syndrome. However the number went to nine percent among children who ate the least amount of fiber in their food compared to 3 percent who ate the most amount.
Lead researcher Joe Carlson was quick to point out that eating a fiber rich diet did not mean that teenagers could gorge on food items containing high levels of saturated fat. "We know if you eat a lot of saturated fat, or trans fat, it tends to raise (bad) cholesterol and total cholesterol", he said.