Bulk up on fibre for a healthier ticker

A new study reveals that adults between 20 and 50 years old who bulked up on fibre had a “significantly lower estimated lifetime risk” for heart disease. While it’s been well researched that high-fibre diets can lower cholesterol and improve hypertension, this study is the first of its kind to examine how fibre can affect a person’s lifetime risk for heart disease.

How much fiber do you need? Researchers said the 25-30 grams of dietary fibre recommended by many governmental agencies (US, UK, Germany, Netherlands) is what to aim for. But remember, that’s about six times the amount of fibre in an average serving of oatmeal. Also, be sure to get your fibre from whole foods, not processed fibre bars, supplements, or drinks, according to the researchers.
“A processed food may be high in fibre, but it also tends to be pretty high in sodium and likely higher in calories than an apple, for example, which provides the same amount of fibre,” said US cardiologist Donald M Lloyd-Jones, corresponding author of the study.

Load up on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes for natural sources of fibre. 

Red beans are a great source—they are packed with antioxidants, protein, folate, and fibre, including resistant starch, which is a hot new trend in fibre research, according to health expert Maureen Callahan. The benefits of resistant starch claim to include helping the body to burn fat, keeping you feeling full and satisfied, and even reducing cancer risks. Other good choices include whole grain pasta, artichokes, yams, and quinoa.

Need another reason to eat fibre? Dutch researchers in a study involving almost 90,000 Europeans discovered that a high-fibre diet, namely cereal fibre, correlated to a reduced body weight and a trimmer waistline.

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