Writing in Food & Nutrition Research, the new study is the first to investigate adherence to the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations in people with metabolic syndrome or who have increased risk for metabolic syndrome - finding that adherence to such dietary recommendations is weak among such groups.
Led by Svandis Erna Jonsdottir from theUniversity of Eastern Finland, the research team reported that in most cases diets are too high in salt and saturated fat, and too low in dietary fibre and unsaturated fat.
Furthermore, many did not have a sufficient intake of vitamin D, added the team.
"The low adherence to nutrition recommendations is likely to further perpetuate these high-risk individuals in developing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease," wrote Jonsdottir and colleagues.
The team recruited a total of 175 participants who fulfilled at least two criteria for metabolic syndrome – such as elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting plasma glucose concentration or abnormal blood lipid profile – and who were at least slightly overweight, to take part in the study.
Participants represented all Nordic countries except Norway, and intake of nutrients was assessed by food diaries kept for four days.
In more than 80% of the participants it was revealed that diets were too high in hard fat, such as saturated fats, while the intake of soft, polyunsaturated fats was sufficient only in one third of the participants.
More than 75% of the participants had too low dietary fibre intake, while 65% had too much salt, said the team.
Furthermore, the intake of vitamin D was insufficient among 20% of the participants, and one third of men and one fourth of women consumed too much alcohol.
According to the researchers, the low adherence to nutrition recommendations is likely to further increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes, and the results indicate that the Nordic countries should increasingly invest in dietary assessments and counselling aimed at persons exhibiting features of metabolic syndrome.
Source: Food & Nutrition Research
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.3402/fnr.v57i0.21391
"Adherence to the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations in a Nordic population with metabolic syndrome: high salt consumption and low dietary fibre intake (The SYSDIET study)"
Authors: Svandis Erna Jonsdottir, Lea Brader, Ingibjorg Gunnarsdottir et al