A new Swedish study found that high fiber foods protect against cardiovascular disease, especially in women.
Researchers tracked the eating habits of over 20,000 men and women, focusing on how consumption of 13 essential nutrients affects cardiovascular disease outcomes.
The study found that women who consume a high fiber diet are 25 percent less likely to develop heart disease than those on a low fiber diet. While the effect was less pronounced for men, consuming a high fiber diet did appear to provide significant protection against stroke.
Although the exact reason for the gender difference is unclear, study researchers theorize that it is due to the fact that women in the study consumed fiber from healthier food sources than men. Women got most of their fiber from fruit and vegetables, while the primary fiber source for men was bread.
The study’s lead author was quoted: “The difference in the results for men and women shows that we need to pay more attention to gender when we conduct research on diet.”
But these results also suggest that certain forms of dietary fiber (i.e. in the form of whole foods) are more beneficial than others. Yet another reason to incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables in our diet!
Image Credit: sweetbeetandgreenbean/Flickr