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Importance of seafood as nutrient source in the diet of Belgian adolescents

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Abstract Background 

Regular seafood consumption is recommended in dietary guidelines. The aim of this study was to investigate the importance of seafood as a nutrient source in adolescents’ diet and the extent to which seafood consumption can increase the intake of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin D. Methods 

Consumption data recorded during seven consecutive days for 341 adolescents selected in Ghent (Belgium) were used to estimate the intake of vitamin D, linoleic (LA), α-linolenic (LNA), arachidonic (AA), eicosapentaenoic (EPA), docosapentaenoic (DPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acid. Results 

The adolescents consumed on average 3.21 μg/day vitamin D, 11.7 g/day LA and 1.4 g/day LNA. The mean intakes of AA, EPA, DPA and DHA were 83.2, 55.9, 18.4 and 111.4 mg/day respectively. The major source of vitamin D was fortified margarine. Fats and oils were the main sources for LA and LNA. The intake of AA was mainly contributed by meat, poultry and eggs. Fish and seafood contributed for 84.1%, 59.3% and 64.4% respectively for EPA, DPA and DHA. Conclusion 

Flemish adolescents would benefit from increased seafood consumption, as this would lead to a higher intake of EPA and DHA as well as of vitamin D. Moreover, replacement of foods rich in saturated fat (SFA) by seafood products can help to reduce SFA intake.

Keywords: adolescents; dietary intake; omega-3 fatty acids; seafood; vitamin D

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Public Health 2: Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Publication date: 2007-12-01

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