Background: Increased consumption of dietary fiber is widely recommended to maintain or improve health, but knowledge of the relation between dietary fiber sources and cardiovascular disease risk factors is limited.
Objective: We examined the relation between the source or type of dietary fiber intake and cardiovascular disease risk factors in a cohort of adult men and women.
Design: In a cross-sectional study, quintiles of fiber intake were determined from dietary records, separately for 2532 men and 3429 women. Age- and multivariate-controlled logistic models investigated the odds ratios of abnormal markers for quintiles 2-5 of fiber intake compared with the lowest quintile.
Results: The highest total dietary fiber and nonsoluble dietary fiber intakes were associated with a significantly (P < 0.05) lower risk of overweight and elevated waist-to-hip ratio, blood pressure, plasma apolipoprotein (apo) B, apo B:apo A-I, cholesterol, triacylglycerols, and homocysteine. Soluble dietary fiber was less effective. Fiber from cereals was associated with a lower body mass index, blood pressure, and homocysteine concentration; fiber from vegetables with a lower blood pressure and homocysteine concentration; and fiber from fruit with a lower waist-to-hip ratio and blood pressure. Fiber from dried fruit or nuts and seeds was associated with a lower body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and fasting apo B and glucose concentrations. Fiber from pulses had no specific effect.
Conclusion: Dietary fiber intake is inversely correlated with several cardiovascular disease risk factors in both sexes, which supports its protective role against cardiovascular disease and recommendations for its increased consumption.