Fibre for heart attack survivors

30 April 2014        

Bowl of muesli

People who survive heart attacks have a greater chance of living longer if they increase their dietary intake of fibre, according to research.

A Boston study followed over 4,000 heart attack survivors for an average of almost nine years. Participants were divided into five groups based on how much fibre they ate. The top quintile, with the highest fibre intake, had a 25 per cent lower chance of dying from any cause and a 13 per cent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, compared with those who ate least fibre.

When researchers analysed the three different fibre types – cereal, fruit and vegetable – a higher cereal fibre intake was most strongly associated with an increased chance of long-term survival after a heart attack.

Our Senior Dietitian, Victoria Taylor, said: “High-fibre foods are a key part of a healthy balanced diet and this study suggests they may have a particular benefit for heart attack survivors.

“We can’t say for sure what caused the fibre benefit seen here. But we do know that, on average, we’re not getting enough fibre in our diets.

“Fibre comes from a range of foods including fruit and veg, beans and lentils and also from cereal products, which this study found to be particularly beneficial. To get more fibre, you can make simple swaps such as trading white bread for wholegrain versions or opting for higher fibre breakfast cereals like porridge or muesli.”