Score another point for fiber. New research shows foods high in fiber offer a strong defense against developing heart disease, particularly in women.
The study, conducted by researchers at Lund University in Sweden, tracked the eating habits and heart disease rates of more than 20,000 residents. Researchers keyed in on 13 different nutrient aspects – including fiber, fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
Their findings, published in the scientific journal Public Library of Science One, indicated women benefit most from high-fiber diets, but they also help men boost their health.
"Women who ate a diet high in fiber had an almost 25 percent lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease compared with women who ate a low-fiber diet,” said lead researcher Peter Wallström. “In men the effect was less pronounced. However, the results confirmed that a high-fiber diet does at least protect men from stroke."
Researchers said they can’t pinpoint a reason for the difference between the sexes, but suggested it may be because women consume fiber from healthier food sources – fruits and vegetables -- than men (whose primary source was bread).
"The difference in the results for men and women shows that we need to pay more attention to gender when we conduct research on diet", says Peter Wallström.