Less sat fat for kids, healthier adult hearts

A lower saturated fat diet for children potentially reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD) in adulthood.

A joint University of Otago and World Health Organization study found reducing saturated fat intake safely results in a ‘significant reduction in cholesterol levels’ throughout childhood. Elevated cholesterol has been linked to CVD in adults and signs of potential plaque build-up in children’s arteries, researchers say.

It’s important children have fat in their diets but the greatest benefits for cholesterol levels are seen when food high in saturated fat, such as coconut and palm oils, fatty meat and biscuits are limited, and food rich in unsaturated fat is eaten instead, such as plant foods and their oils, and oily fish.

The study of two to 19-year-olds reviewed eight independent trials across 21 journal articles.

Plos One, December 2017

First published: Feb 2018

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