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Can Eating Cereal Prevent You from Having a Heart Attack?


Posted on May 01, 2014

Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States today. Experts have been conducting studies to figure out easy ways for Americans to increase their heart health. And they actually came up with a simple, easy to implement solution- eat more cereal.

Fox news reports on the link between fiber and a healthy heart.

Studies show that people who incorporate cereals and other high fiber foods have a significantly lower risk of having a heart attack.

Fox explains how the study was conducted, “In their analysis of participant questionnaires, researchers looked at three different types of fiber: cereal, fruit and vegetable. Cereal was the only type of fiber strongly associated with an increased chance of long-term survival. Sources of cereal fiber include whole-wheat pasta, whole wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice. Researchers believe the underlying biological mechanism that protects a healthy population from heart attack is similar to that which improves mortality in a heart attack survivor.”

The results were quite surprising. “Researchers found that heart attack survivors who ate the most fiber had a 25 percent lower chance of dying in the nine years following their heart attack, compared to those who at the least fiber. Increasing fiber intake by 10g per day was associated with a 15 percent lower risk of dying over the same period. The daily-recommended fiber intake is 25g per day for women and 38g per day for men. Less than 5 percent of Americans consume the minimum amount, researchers said,” according to Fox.

Li, who authored the study and is currently working at the Harvard School of Public Health, told Fox, “If [heart attack survivors] can meet that recommendation level, they could make a great improvement. The advantage of this study is we can look at not only eating more fiber after a heart attack to reduce risk of dying, but also supply evidence that increasing consumption from before to after [a heart attack] lowers mortality.”

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