Fiber-Rich Diet May Cut Heart Attack Risk

While you already advise your members and clients to eat a healthy diet, a new study suggests that you should also encourage them to eat more fiber. The study found that a diet rich in fiber may lower the risk of heart disease in women.

The study, published in the January 2nd issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, involved more than 38,000 female health professionals age 45 and older. It found that, over six years, those who ate the most fiber (about 26 grams daily) were less likely to develop heart disease and suffer a heart attack than women with the lowest fiber intake (about 18 grams a day). While the overall reduction in risk was modest, the findings support recommendations that Americans boost their consumption of fiber through fruits, vegetables and whole grains to 25 to 35 grams daily. “These findings generally support current dietary recommendations to increase the consumption of fiber-rich whole grains and fruits and vegetables as a primary preventive measure against [heart disease],” write the study authors.

Study participants, who had no history of heart disease, cancer or stroke, filled out dietary questionnaires. Over the next six years, significantly fewer women with the greatest fiber intake were diagnosed with heart disease, compared to women consuming the least fiber. The effects of insoluble fiber, found in seeds and the skin of fruit, and soluble fiber in fruit and oatmeal, were similar.

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