Most people know that fiber can help to keep the gastrointestinal tract healthy and prevent constipation. While this is true there are many other reasons why it is important to eat fiber rich food.
The reviewed study investigated whether a fiber-rich diet measured by a fiber index is associated with lower rates of metabolic syndrome when compared to a diet low in saturated fat or cholesterol as measured by a saturated fat index and a cholesterol index (Carlson JJ, et al. 2011). The metabolic syndrome is recognized by a cluster of symptoms, increased waist circumference, elevated blood pressure, triglycerides and blood sugar and decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL). These type of symptoms are now seen in more and more people even in adolescents. The study participants were 12 to 19 year old boys and girls.
It was found that each quintile increase in the fiber index was associated with a 20% decrease of the metabolic syndrome. Neither the saturated fat index nor the cholesterol index was found to be significantly associated with the metabolic syndrome.
You can read more about how food influence our health in the book “The Food Connection.” This book also explains what to eat and includes a lot of easy to make recipes.
To read the original abstract, click on the reference below.
Carlson JJ, Eisenmann JC, Norman GJ, Ortiz KA, Young PC. Dietary fiber and nutrient density are inversely associated with the metabolic syndrome in US adolescents. J Am Diet Assoc. 2011 Nov;111(11):1688-95.