Fiber In Diet Not Enough; American Heart Association Calling For Higher Intake To Fight Heart Disease

June 16, 1997

DALLAS, June 17 - Americans are getting about half as much fiber in the diet as they need, according to a new report from the American Heart Association that appears today in its journal Circulation Eating enough fiber-rich foods is part of a diet to lower blood cholesterol and the risk of heart disease, says Linda Van Horn, Ph.D., R.D., author of the article.

The recommended total dietary intake is 25 to 30 grams per day from foods, not supplements, to ensure nutrient adequacy, says Van Horn, member of the Association's volunteer Nutrition Committee, which generated the report. This can be achieved by eating a variety of whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits that provide fiber and many other important vitamins and minerals.

"Fiber is not a substitute for a low saturated fat, low cholesterol diet," says Van Horn. "It is a complement to it. Simply avoiding fat does not guarantee a good diet or adequate fiber intake. Fortunately there are options. Most of us can find the things we need on a daily basis. The American diet is consistently inadequate in fiber, she notes.

Low fat diets that regularly include oats, beans, pectin-containing fresh fruits and other fiber-rich foods can reduce total blood cholesterol by 10 to 15 percent. These foods act in at least two beneficial ways - reducing absorption of fat in the diet and altering the way cholesterol is produced by the body.

By reducing their blood levels of cholesterol, individuals decrease their risk for heart disease and stroke.

Another benefit of high fiber intake seems to be better weight control. Persons who eat adequate amounts of bulky fiber-rich foods "simply don't have room" for as much fat as many Americans now consume, she says

The Circulation article is aimed at alerting medical professionals about the needs for addressing fiber intake as well the needs for limited consumption of fat. "By concentrating on some of these inexpensive foods a lot of us usually ignore or avoid - like the lowly bean - we could vastly improve our nutritional health and save money," she notes. "Many of these foods have the added benefit of being high in complex carbohydrates, vegetable protein and antioxidants as well as being free of saturated fat and generally low in calories."

Some High Fiber Foods






Media advisory: Dr. Van Horn can be reached by calling (312) 908-8938. Reporters may call (214) 706-1173 for a copy of the statement. (Please do not publish telephone number.)
-end-


American Heart Association

Related Heart Disease Articles from Brightsurf:

Cellular pathway of genetic heart disease similar to neurodegenerative disease
Research on a genetic heart disease has uncovered a new and unexpected mechanism for heart failure.

Mechanism linking gum disease to heart disease, other inflammatory conditions discovered
The link between periodontal (gum) disease and other inflammatory conditions such as heart disease and diabetes has long been established, but the mechanism behind that association has, until now, remained a mystery.

New 'atlas' of human heart cells first step toward precision treatments for heart disease
Scientists have for the first time documented all of the different cell types and genes expressed in the healthy human heart, in research published in the journal Nature.

With a heavy heart: How men and women develop heart disease differently
A new study by researchers from McGill University has uncovered that minerals causing aortic heart valve blockage in men and women are different, a discovery that could change how heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

Heart-healthy diets are naturally low in dietary cholesterol and can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke
Eating a heart-healthy dietary pattern rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, vegetable oils and nuts, which is also limits salt, red and processed meats, refined-carbohydrates and added sugars, is relatively low in dietary cholesterol and supports healthy levels of artery-clogging LDL cholesterol.

Pacemakers can improve heart function in patients with chemotherapy-induced heart disease
Research has shown that treating chemotherapy-induced cardiomyopathy with commercially available cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) delivered through a surgically implanted defibrillator or pacemaker can significantly improve patient outcomes.

Arsenic in drinking water may change heart structure raising risk of heart disease
Drinking water that is contaminated with arsenic may lead to thickening of the heart's main pumping chamber in young adults, according to a new study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

New health calculator can help predict heart disease risk, estimate heart age
A new online health calculator can help people determine their risk of heart disease, as well as their heart age, accounting for sociodemographic factors such as ethnicity, sense of belonging and education, as well as health status and lifestyle behaviors.

Wide variation in rate of death between VA hospitals for patients with heart disease, heart failure
Death rates for veterans with ischemic heart disease and chronic heart failure varied widely across the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system from 2010 to 2014, which could suggest differences in the quality of cardiovascular health care provided by VA medical centers.

Heart failure: The Alzheimer's disease of the heart?
Similar to how protein clumps build up in the brain in people with some neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, protein clumps appear to accumulate in the diseased hearts of mice and people with heart failure, according to a team led by Johns Hopkins University researchers.

Read More: Heart Disease News and Heart Disease Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.