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Fiber From Cereal May Reduce Mortality in Heart Attack Survivors

People who suffer from a heart attack may want to increase their fiber intake once they leave the hospital. That’s because a recent Harvard University study found that eating more fiber was correlated with a 25% lower chance of dying from any cause and a 13% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.

Participants in the study included 2,258 women and 1,840 men who had survived heart attacks. The researchers tracked them for nine years after their first myocardial infarction, during which time 682 of the women and 451 of the men died.

The researchers found that people who ate the most fiber had a 25% higher chance of living longer than those who ate the least. They also found that every daily 10 gram increase in fiber intake was correlated with a 15% decrease in the risk of death over the nine year follow up period.

They looked at intakes of three types of fiber – cereal, fruit, and vegetable – and found that cereal fiber was most strongly linked to higher survival rates.

The study was published in the April 2014 issue of British Medical Journal.

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

There are two type of fiber: soluble and insoluble. 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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