High-Fiber Diet Reduces Heart Disease Risk

How High-Fiber Diet Reduces Heart Disease Risk

As though keeping yourself regular wasn’t enough reason to eat your beans and whole grains, it is now known that a high-fiber diet reduces heart disease risk, too. Your diet plays a substantial role in your risk of developing many different kinds of health condition.  To keep yourself healthy, it’s important to be sure to achieve the right nutrient balance on a regular basis.

A growing body of research has shown that a high fiber diet reduces heart disease risk.  Fortunately, there is a wealth of food available to boost your fiber levels.  Moreover, they are filling, tasty and suit a healthy weight management strategy perfectly.

Discovering that High Fiber Diet Reduces Heart Disease Risk

For a long time, very little was known about the connection between the chance of developing cardiovascular disease and the effect of food.  Until the last decade or so, it wasn’t known that a high fiber diet reduces heart disease risk.  It wasn’t known for certain that the amount of fiber that is consumed impacts blood pressure and other cardiac issues.  Most importantly, it has now been shown in several important studies to be vitally linked.

According to the American Heart Association, a high-fiber diet reduces heart disease risk throughout your lifetime, particularly if you keep up this type of healthy eating throughout the time when you are middle aged.

Additional research has also indicated that high-fiber diet reduces heart disease risk when it contains a proper balance of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans and legumes, keeping issues such as obesity, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol at bay, while decreasing the chance of a heart attack.

What the Research Examined

A study performed by a team at Chicago’s Northwestern University looked into whether a high-fiber diet reduces heart disease risk.  It did so by performing an analysis on recall data of the eating habits of over 11,000 adults aged 20 years and higher. The data was originally collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The participants in the survey were divided into age-based categories, including young adults (those aged 20 to 39 years), those in their middle age (adults aged 40 through 59), and older adults (who were 60 through 79 years old). This allowed the researchers to determine whether a high-fiber diet reduces heart disease risk and the impact this may have at various ages.  It also let them take a look at how the body reacts over time when this type of diet is continued.

The Method Used

The researchers were able to use a formula that they’d created to predict the lifetime chance of experiencing a serious cardiovascular event such as a stroke, heart attack, or even death resulting from a coronary condition. The formula was based on the individuals’ cholesterol levels, blood pressure, smoking habits, and whether or not they had diabetes. The research also controlled for certain variables such as education, physical activity levels, total caloric intake, and drinking habits.

The Research Findings

Among the participants in the survey, only 15 percent reported consuming 25 grams of fiber or more on a daily basis. This is the recommended amount for adults by the American Heart Association.

The individuals who were in the top 25 percent of the daily intake of fiber – the people who ate at least 22 grams of fiber every day – had a significantly lower likelihood of developing cardiovascular disease.

The main lesson that can be taken from this research – and the studies that are continuing to be performed – is that a high-fiber diet reduces heart disease risk and simply promotes a healthier body overall.

How to Eat More Fiber

If you want to benefit from the way a high fiber diet reduces heart disease risk, it isn’t difficult.  There are many different affordable, tasty and highly available choices that you can make with every meal and snack.  Use the following to help keep you on track.

  • Eat fruits and/or vegetables at every meal
  • Switch to whole grains in foods such as breads, pastas and cereals
  • Eat a salad before your lunch and/or dinner
  • Have at least one meatless day of the week and replace your animal-based protein with beans
  • Add chickpeas, beans, lentils, and/or whole grains such as quinoa as toppings to your meals, particularly in the case of salads and stir fries.