Fibre and Heart Health

Dietary fiber is a magic ingredient that keeps you healthy. Learn more about it...

Sheela Krishnaswamy
Sheela Krishnaswamyhttps://thip.me/32BLvwP
Sheela Krishnaswamy is a Registered Dietitian with 38 years of professional experience in the clinical, corporate and communication spaces. She was trained in India and overseas. She is active in national and international dietetic associations. She has had a media presence for the last 25 years. Formerly, a successful nutrition entrepreneur, an editor, a public speaker and a blogger, currently she works independently as Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Advisor, Anchor, Writer and Corporate Trainer.

Dietary fibre is present in most plant foods. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, pulses, dals, nuts and seeds, contain soluble and insoluble fibre. On the contrary, foods from animal sources (meats, dairy, egg, fish, poultry) do not contain dietary fibre. Refined foods like maida, sugar, oil, etc., despite having a plant origin, are devoid of fibre because they are ultra-processed. The recommendation for dietary fibre intake is 40g per adult per day. 

Studies have shown that dietary fibre is beneficial to cardiovascular health. A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis showed that total dietary fibre was inversely associated with risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease. Insoluble fibre and fibre from cereal and vegetable sources were inversely associated with the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Fruit fibre intake was inversely associated with the risk of cardiovascular disease. In other words, higher intake of dietary fibre is linked to lower risk of cardiovascular and coronary artery disease. 

Fibre helps in satiety, which in turn, aids in weight management. Since excess body weight is a risk factor for heart disease, fibre contributes to reducing this risk. Secondly, a number of studies have shown a positive relationship between diets rich in soluble fibre and reduced serum cholesterol, and therefore, a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. It is believed that due to increase in excretion of bile salts, reduced glycemic response leading to lower insulin stimulation of hepatic cholesterol synthesis, and physiological effects of fermentation products of soluble dietary fibre, there is a cholesterol lowering effect of soluble fibre.

Increase the consumption of fibre-rich foods in your daily diet to protect your heart.    

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