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Dietary Fiber Linked to Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

A recent study found that low dietary intake increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by increasing the prevalence of cardiometabolic risks such as metabolic syndrome, chronic inflammation and obesity.

Participants in the study included 23,168 people who participated in the 1999-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The researchers analyzed cardiometabolic risks between participants with the highest dietary fiber intake and those with the lowest. They found that participants with the highest intake had a 22% reduced risk of metabolic syndrome, a 34% reduced risk of chronic inflammation and a 23% reduced risk of obesity.

They also found that 80% of the study participants didn’t meet the recommended amount of fiber daily. For men between the ages of 19 and 50, the recommended amount is 38 grams, for men over 50 it’s 30 grams. For women between the ages of 19 and 50, the recommended amount is 25 grams and for women over 50 it’s 21 grams.

Researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on October 16, 2013, in The American Journal of Medicine.

Previous studies have linked fiber consumption with lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, regulating blood sugar for people with diabetes and breast cancer prevention.

Soluble fiber can be found naturally in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium. Insoluble fiber can be found in whole wheat and grains, brown rice, fruit, broccoli, cabbage and dark leafy vegetables.

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