What’s the link between fiber and heart disease risk?
Researchers reported that previous studies suggest that dietary fiber protects against heart disease by reducing blood pressure, cholesterol, and biomarkers of inflammation, all of which play a major role in the development of heart disease, the leading killer of Americans.
In addition, a diet that is rich in fiber has been linked to weight loss (by helping people feel full) and improved insulin sensitivity. Obesity and insulin resistance can contribute to risk for both heart disease and type 2 diabetes, which in turn, also increases the threat of developing heart disease.
In a 2011 study of nearly 400,000 older adults, conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and American Association of Retired People (AARP), those who ate a fiber-rich diet had the lowest death rates during the 9-year study.
The study found that men ages 50 or older who ate the most fiber had an up to 56 percent lower risk for dying from cardiovascular disease, respiratory illnesses, or infectious diseases, compared to men who ate the least fiber. In women ages 50 and up, a high-fiber diet reduced fatalities from those conditions by up to 59 percent.