Study aim: The purpose was to assess dietary intake of energy and selected nutrients and plasma lipid profile in young women and men with different levels of physical activity.
Material and methods: The research included a total of 116 female and male students at the University of Physical Education who differed in their levels of physical activity. Analysis of the diets was based on 24-hour dietary interviews collected over 4 days prior to blood collection. Concentrations of total cholesterol (TC), HDL cholesterol (HDL-C), and triacylglycerol (TG) were measured in venous blood. In addition, the concentration of LDL cholesterol (LDL-C) and the ratios of TC / HDL-C and LDL-C/HDL-C were calculated.
Results: Women, regardless of their physical activity levels, were characterized by a significantly higher concentration of total cholesterol in plasma (4.8 and 4.5 mmol/L, respectively - in training participants; 4.7 and 4.3 mmol/L, respectively - in non-training participants), although their dietary intake of cholesterol was significantly lower in comparison with the corresponding groups of men (282.0 and 484.7 mg, respectively - in training participants; 252.6 and 400.2 mg, respectively - in non-training participants). A trend toward a worse lipid profile of training women and men compared with the corresponding groups of non-training participants was also observed.
Conclusions: Increased physical activity in the groups of training women and men was not a sufficient stimulus to induce positive changes in their lipid profiles. Nor can it be excluded that the observed differences were the result of diet, as dietary intake of cholesterol in the groups of training women and men was higher compared with the corresponding groups of non-training participants.
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