Low-fat, high-fiber diets improve health later in life

The Western diet is high in total and saturated fats, and in refined grains, which raises the chances for metabolic syndrome, doctors said. In this study, doctors followed up on 230 women, aged 25 to 29, who had participated in a diet study nine years earlier.

The diet limited fats to 28 percent of total calories, and encouraged participants to eat more fiber through whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Some of the women ate a normal Western diet.

While none had metabolic syndrome, women in the Western diet group had average systolic blood pressure of 110.0 mmHg compared to 107.7 for the low-fat, high-fiber group. Also, women on the Western diet had fasting blood sugar levels of 89.1 mg/dL compared to 87.0 for the low-fat, high-fiber group. Doctors concluded a lower-fat, higher-fiber diet may help control blood pressure and sugar long-term.

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