Eating dietary fiber from fruits and cereals may lower the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD), according to research in the February 23 Archives of Internal Medicine.
Although studies suggest that the more fiber a person eats, the lower the risk of heart disease, few studies have looked at the relationship between heart disease and dietary fiber from different sources. In this study researchers analyzed the pooled results of several studies (from the United States and Europe, including 91,058 men and 245,186 women) to determine whether the source of dietary fiber had any effect on the reduction in heart disease risk. They found that for each 10-gram-per-day increment of fiber consumed, there was a 14% decrease in risk for CHD events such as nonfatal and fatal heart attacks, and a 27% decreased risk of dying from CHD. (Note: One slice of whole-wheat bread has 2.5 grams [g] of total fiber; 7 cup of cooked oatmeal has 3.0 g; one medium banana has 2.0 g; and one medium orange has 2.0 g.)
“Associations were stronger for coronary deaths than for all events, with reductions in risk of 25% for cereal fiber and 30% for fruit fiber for each 10-gram-per-day increment,” the researchers reported. “In contrast, vegetable fiber was not associated with CHD incidence or mortality.”
So what should you and your clients do? Skip vegetables? Nah. The researchers support recommendations to eat a variety of fiber-rich foods to prevent CHD.