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High-Fiber Diet Cuts Death Risk

March 01, 2011

Fiber from Whole Grains Reduces Risk of Dying

Study: Fiber from Whole Grains Reduces Risk of Dying From Heart Disease, Infections, and Lung Disease         download a PDF

Archives of Internal Medicine: Published online February 14, 2011

By Denise Mann

WebMD Health News

Filling up on fiber -- particularly fiber from whole grains -- may reduce your risk of dying from heart disease, infections, and respiratory diseases, says a new study published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Men and women who ate the most dietary fiber were 22% less likely to die from any cause when compared to study participants who ate the least amount of fiber. The protective effect came mainly from cereal fiber in grains, not other sources of fiber such as fruits and vegetables.

“Prior studies have focused on the relationship between fiber intake and cardiovascular disease, but few have examined the link between dietary fiber and mortality,” study researcher Yikyung Park, ScD, a staff scientist at the National Cancer Institute in Rockville, Md., says in an email. “Our analysis adds to the literature and suggests that dietary fiber is associated with a decreased likelihood of death.”

Fiber-rich diets help lower blood cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels, which may explain why it is considered heart-healthy. Exactly how fiber may reduce risk of death from lung disease and infections is not known, but these diseases tend to be inflammatory in origin, and fiber may have certain anti-inflammatory properties. Heart disease is also believed to be linked to inflammation.
. . . .

'Big Surprise'

“What is new and important about this study is that it examined multiple causes of death [while] most previous studies of fiber and mortality focused only on heart attack and stroke,” says Lawrence de Koning, PhD, a postdoctoral and clinical chemistry fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. De Koning co-authored an editorial that accompanies the new study.

“The most interesting result was that dietary fiber was protective for respiratory disease and infections,” he tells WebMD in an email. “This was a big surprise. It was even more surprising that the effect appeared larger than for heart attack and stroke.”

"Eating more fiber, particularly fiber from grains, may be related to reduced risk of dying from many different types of diseases -- not just cardiovascular disease,” he says.

The new U.S. dietary guidelines recommend that at least half of all grains consumed be whole and unrefined. The refining process removes all the bran, which contains the fiber. The goal for fiber is 25 grams per day for women 28 grams per day for men, and as it stands, most of us fall short.

Aunt Millie’s products that are a Good Source of Fiber:

· Healthy Goodness Potato Bread

· Healthy Goodness 100% Whole Wheat Bread

· Hearth 100% Whole Wheat Bread

· Hearth Whole Grain Deli Rye Bread

· Hearth Whole Grain Nine grain Bread

· Hearth Organic 100% Whole Wheat Bread

· Hearth Organic Flax Seed Bread

· Hearth Organic Indian Grain Bread

· Hearth 100% Natural Whole Grain White Bread

· Hearth 100% Natural 100% Whole Wheat Bread

· Hearth 100% Natural Honey Oatmeal Bread

· Hearth 100% Natural Amber Grains Bread

· Cinnamon Swirl Bread

· Cranberry-Apple Swirl Bread

· Raisin Swirl Bread

· Whole Grain Mini Sub Buns

· Whole Grain Wheat Hamburger Buns

· 100% Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns

· Whole Grain Wheat Hot Dog Buns

· Whole Grain Hamburger Buns

· Wheat Sandwich Buns

· Wheat Hot Dog Buns

· 100% Whole Wheat English Muffins

· Cinnamon Raisin English Muffins

· Blueberry Muffins

· Chocolate Chip Muffins

· Whole Grain Dinner Rolls

Aunt Millie’s products that are an Excellent Source of Fiber:

· Healthy Goodness Light Fiber for Life 5 Grain Bread

· Healthy Goodness Light Fiber for Life Potato Bread

· Healthy Goodness Light Fiber for Life Whole Grain Bread

· Healthy Goodness Whole Grain White Bread

· Healthy Goodness Light Fiber for Life 100% Whole Wheat Bread

· Hearth Fiber for Life 12 Whole Grain Bread

· Hearth Fiber for Life Potato Bread

· Hearth Fiber for Life Honey & Crunchy Oat Bread

· Whole Grain Bagels

· 100% Whole Wheat Slimwiches

· 8 Grain Slimwiches

Aunt Millie’s Bakeries is a family-owned company headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana since 1901. The company produces Aunt Millie’s bread and bakery products and other brands, which are distributed throughout the Midwest.

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Melissa Dunning

News release

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