fiber per day were 40% less likely to have a heart attack than the women who ate less than 9 grams of fiber a day. This was also true of the men in the studies. They could cut their risk of having a heart attack by 50% by eating a high fiber diet.
No one is quite sure how fiber in the diet works towards having a healthy heart, but scientists suspect that the body takes more cholesterol out of the blood with a fiber-rich diet. This action prevents cholesterol from forming plaques in the arteries, which causes heart disease.
Dietary fiber is also believed to block the body from absorbing the fat and cholesterol found in food. The April 1997 of the Journal of Nutrition
stated that researchers found that the more fiber the study participants ate, the more fat ended up in their stools. In other words, the fat was eliminated from the body without being absorbed.
Weight loss and weight management
High-fiber diets not only promote healthy eating, but they also prevent the absorption of fat. Fiber in your diet helps you cut calories. When you eat whole grain food, your hunger is satisfied faster. When you fill up on high fiber foods like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts, you are less likely to have room for high-fat, low-fiber foods with high calorie count. Your dietary needs are satisfied, while you are cutting calories. When you eat fewer calories by including fiber in your diet, you can lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Dietary needs of diabetics differ from those of people without diabetes. Of course, we all know that we should avoid foods containing a lot of sugar, and carbohydrates that are not complex. For diabetics, this is critical to the control of their disease. For the rest of us, it may prevent us from developing diabetes. Including fiber in your diet may actually protect against diabetes. Diabetics are encouraged to eat foods that are fiber-rich which contain important vitamins and minerals. In studies, it was shown that people with type 2 diabetes may improve their blood sugar and cholesterol levels by eating a high fibre diet. In the February 12, 1997 journal of the American Medical Association, study results showed that study participants who consumed large amounts of fiber were significantly less likely to get diabetes than those who consumed the least amount of fiber.
It was widely thought that fiber-rich diets would prevent colon cancer
. Researchers believed that fiber strands formed a mesh network that grabbed on to cancer-causing substances and flushed them out of the intestines. Physicians did not dispute the claims. Then one study showed that women who ate 26 grams of fiber a day were not less likely to develop colon cancer compared to the study participants who only ate 8.5 grams. When these results were published, in the January, 21, 1999 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, people questioned the benefit of fiber as a dietary need.
Then the May 3, 2003 issue of The Lancet published study results that showed that people who eat high-fiber foods are 25% less likely to develop colon cancer.
While the conflicting results confused the public regarding fiber’s cancer prevention potential, researchers and physicians advised continuing the fiber-rich diets which have been proven to prevent heart disease. More studies will have to be conducted on whether or not fiber can prevent cancer.
Including fiber in your diet is recommended by physicians, dieticians, and nutritionists. There have been proven health benefits and more research may discover more benefits as time goes by.