People eating a mixed diet of lower-fat and high-fat foods consume more vitamins and minerals than those who stick to only lower-fat foods or high-fat foods, according to a study published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
Researchers from the University of Nevada compared dietary intakes of more than 14,000 American children and adults and divided them into three groups: low-fat eaters (those who ate lower-fat versions of selected foods), high-fat eaters (those who ate “regular” versions of selected foods) and “mixed” eaters (those who ate both lower-fat and regular versions of selected foods).
Study findings showed that those who ate a mixed diet had higher intakes of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, fiber, most B vitamins, vitamins A and C and folate.
“This study is a perfect example of how all foods can fit into a healthful eating plan,” says registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Connie Diekman. “People don’t have to feel guilty about eating their favorite foods, so long as they are eating a balance of foods as well as getting regular physical activity.”
Researchers also found that female lower-fat and mixed diet eaters, as well as children who consumed lower-fat foods, met the federal government’s dietary guidelines of 30 percent energy from fat. Those in the high-fat food group did not meet dietary guidelines for fat and saturated fat.
“Incorporating low-fat foods into an eating plan has been shown to reduce fat and saturated fat intakes while still maintaining adequate nutrient intakes,” says Diekman.