High fiber diet fights hypertension, type-2 diabetes

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A high fiber diet such as shredded wheat may help you combat diseases such as type-2 diabetes and hypertension, the strong risk factors for cardiovascular diseases, a study has said.

According to the study, which tracked the fiber consumption of 200 participants (average age of 50 years) with diabetes and hypertension, found, over the period of six months, the high-fiber diet improved several cardiovascular risk factors such as cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and fasting blood sugar.

The researchers gave participants "diet prescriptions" that included a detailed list of different foods and portion sizes and found there was a nine percent reduction in serum cholesterol and a 23 percent reduction in triglycerides in people consuming high fiber.

The findings scheduled to be presented in the American College of Cardiology Middle Eastern Conference 2019 suggested a 15 percent reduction in systolic blood pressure and a 28 percent decrease in fasting blood sugar in the participants consuming between 1,200 and 1,500 calories and about 30 grams of fiber daily.

The study later increased their fiber intake by up to 25 percent to about 38 grams (about 1.5 cups of high-fiber cereal).

"I wanted to see how dietary modifications, especially a high-fiber diet, can affect patients' cardiovascular risk factors," said lead study author Dr. Rohit Kapoor, medical director of Care Well Heart and Super Specialty Hospital.

The researcher said the findings underscored the importance of dietary counseling, as well as, the role of dietitians and diabetes educators.

Only about 25 percent of adults across the world fulfill the daily recommended amount of fiber.

According to the Centre for Disease Control, about one in every three US adults live with high blood pressure and about 100 million individuals are affected by diabetes or prediabetes.

Experts say food rich in fiber has been a part of the heart-healthy diet since the 1970s as it is associated with lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, improving blood-sugar metabolism, and even helping in weight loss.

Researchers have suggested that fiber may actually feed an individual's healthy gut bacteria, the microbiome, as bacteria digest the fiber into useful fragments known as short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

Both the types of fiber -- soluble and insoluble, said clinical dietitian at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Shelley Wood, help managing weight and reduce the risk for some cancers, including colorectal cancer.

"High fiber diets often result in a healthier weight, which is helpful in preventing many chronic diseases," Healthline quoted Wood as saying.

Sticking to fruits and vegetables, particularly eating with the skin, can fulfill the daily intake of fiber in body, apart from foods including wheat bran, cereal, beans, shredded wheat, and oats.

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