-- Robert Preidt
FRIDAY, Oct. 25 (HealthDay News) -- People who don't eat enough
fiber seem at increased risk for heart problems, and too few
Americans are consuming enough fiber, a new study says.
Researchers analyzed data collected from more than 23,000 U.S.
adults between 1999 and 2010 and found that low fiber intake was
strongly associated with heart disease risk factors such as
obesity, inflammation and metabolic syndrome. The syndrome is a
group of symptoms that puts people at increased risk for diabetes
and heart disease.
Previous studies have found that dietary fiber may help lower
blood pressure, cholesterol levels and inflammation. Despite those
findings, this new study found that Americans don't have enough
fiber in their diets.
Fiber-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, legumes and
The Institute of Medicine -- an independent nonprofit
organization that advises the U.S. government on health issues --
recommends 38 grams of fiber a day for men aged 19 to 50 and 30
grams a day for men over 50. The IOM recommends 25 grams a day for
women aged 19 to 50 and 21 grams a day for women over 50.
But the average dietary fiber intake among the study
participants was only about 16 grams per day, according to the
study, which was published in the December issue of the
American Journal of Medicine.
The new findings show the need to develop new strategies and
polices to increase Americans' dietary fiber intake, study senior
investigator Dr. Cheryl Clark, of the Center for Community Health
and Health Equity at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard
Medical School, said in a journal news release.
The researchers also found racial and ethnic differences.
Compared to whites, Mexican-Americans had higher levels of fiber in
their diet, while blacks had lower levels.
The American Academy of Family Physicians explains how to
increase the amount of
fiber in your diet.
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