According to a new study from Lund University in Sweden, foods high in fiber provide good protection against cardiovascular disease, and the effect is particularly marked in women.
“Women who ate high in fiber had an almost 25% lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease compared with women who ate a low-fiber diet. In men the effect was less pronounced. However, the results confirmed that a high-fiber diet does at least protect men from stroke,” says Peter Wallström, a researcher at Lund University.
The exact reason for the difference is unclear. However, it is likely that the source of fiber intake affects the outcome. Women in the study tended to primarily eat fiber in the form of fruits and vegetables; men received their fiber primarily from bread. The researchers concluded that more attention needs to be put on gender when conducting studies on nutrition and diet.
The researchers did not identify any definite links between the other nutrients in the study (saturated fats, carbohydrates, certain proteins, etc.) and cardiovascular disease.
When it comes to “extreme diets,” Peter Wallström is skeptical. “In the short term, most weight loss diets achieve their aim as long as you follow them. However, we know too little about the long term effects to be able to recommend more drastic changes to one’s diet,” says Wallström.
Adapted from: Jonathan Kantrowitz’s Health News Report, “Fiber Protects Against Cardiovascular Disease–Especially in Women”