Not only will an increase of fiber help to prevent hernias, but it will also lead to a lower risk of heart attacks.
A health survey of over 40,000 men confirmed fiber's role in fighting heart disease. The six-year research project was conducted by the Harvard University School of Public Health.
The findings: Fatal and nonfatal heart attacks were 41 percent less likely amongst men who ate more than 28 grams of fiber daily compared with those who ate less than 13 grams of fiber a day.
It is estimated that for every 10 grams of fiber added to the diet, typical American men (already fiber-deprived) can reduce their heart-attack risk by 20 percent. What's more, researchers suggest that the coronary-health problems linked to the typical high-fat diet may be a result of a lack of fiber instead of its surplus of fat.
The bottom line: Fiber's health benefits go far beyond cholesterol. Most fruits and vegetables contain some amount of fiber. Wheat-bran and whole-oat cereals, legumes and leafy vegetables are particularly high in fiber.
Fiber found in common foods:
Food, serving size Fiber (in grams)
Oats, whole, 3/4 cup, cooked: 1.6 grams
Brown rice, 1/2 cup, cooked: 1.0 grams
White rice, 1/2 cup, cooked: 0.2 grams
Spaghetti, 1 cup, cooked: 1.1 grams
Broccoli, 1/2 cup: 2.2 grams
Grapefruit, 1/2 large: 3.0 grams
Apple with skin, 1 medium: 3.5 grams
Adapted from the Journal of the America Dietetic Association
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