Childhood obesity is on the rise and so are children’s cholesterol levels.
Children between the ages of 2 and 19 should have a total cholesterol level of 170 or below, according to the American Heart Association.
But poor eating and lifestyle habits are sending some children’s cholesterol levels above that threshold.
“Kids are eating way too many fast foods and processed foods,” said Tanya Zuckerbrot, a nutritionist and author of “The F-Factor Diet.”
“It’s not even the drive-thrus, it’s the refined foods, the Pop Tarts, and the white breads and the crackers and the chips that kids are snacking on. And kids are not moving as much,” Zuckerbrot said.
But Zuckerbrot said all that’s needed is for kids to move a little more and to include more fiber into their diets. Fiber, according to the American Heart Association is an important dietary source for improving digestion and lowering cholesterol.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble has been shown to modestly reduce cholesterol levels, while insoluble fiber has been associated with decreased cardiovascular risk and slower progression of cardiovascular disease in high-risk individuals.
Here are Zuckerbrot’s picks for high-fiber foods that will appeal to kids and help lower their cholesterol.
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