Increasing fiber intake may lower first-time stroke risk

FoodFacts.com evaluates every aspect of the food products in our database. Fiber is an aspect that we note on the Report Card for each one. It’s been well-known that fiber intake is an important part of a healthy diet for many reasons. Consumers are attracted to products that are higher in fiber for weight and appetite control But we’ve also known that dietary fiber can help reduce risk factors for stroke and can influence blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

Today we found new research that indicates that eating more fiber can decrease the risk of an initial stroke. Dietary fiber is the part of the plant that the body doesn’t absorb during digestion. Fiber can be soluble, which means it dissolves in water, or insoluble.
This new study found that each seven-gram increase in total daily fiber intake was associated with a 7 percent decrease in first-time stroke risk. Researchers noted that this seven-gram increase could be satisfied easily with one serving of whole wheat pasta and two servings of fruits or vegetables. This is especially important for those with pre-existing stroke risk factors like being overweight, having high blood pressure or smoking.
The research analyzed eight previous studies conducted between 1990 and 2012. These studies focused on different types of stroke, with four of them specifically focused on ischemic stroke (occurring when a clot blocks a blood vessel to the brain). Three of them were focused on hemorrhagic stroke (occurring when a blood vessel bleeds into the brain or on its surface). Findings from all the studies were combined and other stroke risk factors were considered.

The American Heart Association recommends a daily fiber intake of at least 25 grams daily. That can be achieved through six to eight servings of grains and eight to ten servings of fruits and vegetables. Most Americans do not consume the recommended level.
Stoke is the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. It accounts for over 137,000 deaths annually and is the leading cause of disability for stroke survivors.

FoodFacts.com wants to remind our community of the importance of our daily fiber intake. It’s not that difficult to achieve increased fiber consumption. This study indicates that by increasing our daily fiber we can decrease our risk of ever experiencing a stroke, prolonging our life and living healthier.

Read more: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130328161434.htm