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 by researchers in the US.
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).
The study findings, which are published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, showed that those who ate a mixed diet had higher intakes of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, fibre, 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," said registered dietitian and ADA spokesperson Connie Diekman."People don't have to feel guilty about eating their favourite foods, so long as they are eating a balance of foods as well as getting regular physical activity."
"Incorporating low-fat foods into an eating plan has been shown to reduce fat and saturated fat intakes while still maintaining adequate nutrient intakes," continued Diekman.
The researchers said they 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 per cent energy from fat. Those in the high-fat food group did not meet dietary guidelines for fat and saturated fat.
Adults consuming lower-fat and high-fat foods were revealed to be significantly more likely to be better educated, have higher incomes, be white and be older than low- or high-fat-only eaters. Similarly, children consuming a mixed diet tended to be younger, white and come from families with higher incomes.