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REPOST: Extra Fiber for Stroke Protection

May 17, 2013

A new study shows that increased dietary fiber intake would significantly reduce the risk of stroke. This New York Times article by Nicholas Bakalar shares more about it:

Eating high-fiber foods may protect against stroke, a new analysis of research suggests.

The data, pooled from eight observational studies, all with at least three years of follow-up, indicated that each seven-gram increase in daily fiber intake reduced the risk of a first stroke by about 7 percent. The findings were published in the journal Stroke.

Water soluble fiber — the kind found in beans, nuts and other foods — reduced the risk substantially, and insoluble fiber and cereal fiber reduced it slightly. Fruits and vegetables contain both types of fiber, though there was not enough data on those foods considered separately to draw valid conclusions about their effect.

“We don’t know which form is the most beneficial,” said the senior author, Victoria J. Burley, a senior lecturer in nutritional epidemiology at the University of Leeds in England.


Image Source: NYTimes.com

According to background information in the study, the current average fiber intake in the United States is about 13 grams a day for women and 17 for men. Increasing these amounts by seven grams a day would bring them close to the recommended levels of 21 to 25 grams for women and 30 to 38 for men.

“Seven grams a day increase is an achievable goal,” Dr. Burley said. “You’re talking about swapping white bread for whole wheat or increasing vegetable and fruit by two portions a day.”

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