Fiber and Grains

Can Eating More Fiber Prevent Heart Disease?

March 26, 2018   /

Author

Reviewed and updated by Anne Danahy MS, RD, LDN

 

Can eating more fiber prevent heart disease? Yes, it seems that a high-fiber diet protects against heart disease. Experts suggest that we should eat at least 14 g of fiber/1000 calories, or 28 g per day for someone who eats around 2000 calories. Many of us fall far short of that goal.

 

Fiber sources

Intact fiber occurs naturally in all whole plant sources, including:

  • Cereal
  • Dried beans and peas
  • Fruits
  • Grains, especially whole grains
  • Vegetables
  • Whole-grain bread

Fiber can also be isolated from these foods and added to other foods. This type of fiber may be listed on an ingredients label as:

  • Beta-glucan soluble fiber
  • Psyllium husk
  • Cellulose
  • Guar gum
  • Pectin
  • Locust bean gum
  • Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose

 

Understanding dietary fiber is more complicated than it seems. Fiber comes in many different forms and in many different types of food. However, research studies show that the fiber found in whole grains is one of the best types of fiber to prevent heart disease. To reduce your risk of heart disease, the American Heart Association recommends choosing whole grains for at least one-half of the bread, cereal, rice, and pasta that you eat.

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