Vegan Diet Benefits Obese Children
Saturday, March 14, 2015 01:59 PM

Obese children with high cholesterol who followed a strict vegan diet with little added fat in a small Cleveland Clinic study showed significant improvements in both weight and heart disease risk factors in only a month, according to research.

The kids eating the vegan diet also showed significant improvements in systolic blood pressure, body mass index, total cholesterol, total low density lipoprotein (LDL, long referred to as "bad cholesterol"), c-reactive protein (another marker of inflammation), and insulin levels compared to their baseline.

The author believes the study provides a good reason to look further into vegan, no-added-fat and plant-based diets as a prescription for preventing future health problems for overweight and obese children and adolescents. Vegetarian diets have long been supported for heart health in adults, but have been little studied in children, primarily because health concerns such as high blood pressure, cholesterol and inflammation were once unheard of in kids. Now, with obesity affecting nearly 18 percent of children aged 6-11 years and 21 percent of adolescents, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and prediabetes have become common.  All the children in the study had high cholesterol, a risk factor for heart disease, heart attacks and stroke.

"We know that cardiovascular disease begins in childhood, so the concern is that the high cholesterol may put them at risk for subsequent heart attack," researchers said. 

If you can't cut out all animal products, just making small changes in your diet can help. "We know for sure that simply increasing your intake of plant-based foods and cutting back on animal-based foods, particularly high-fat foods, is enormously beneficial," researchers said. "You can take small steps to get a little closer to this eating pattern. Any progress is better than none."


Source:  http://www.cleveland.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2015/02/cleveland_clinic_study_shows_v.html