Lower Heart Disease Risk!
research team was led by Dr. Mark Pereira from the University of
Minnesota School of Public Health, and included Harvard School of
Public Health's Dr. Walt Willett. The study was supported by a grant
from the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung and
Blood Institute. (Source: Arch Int Med, Vol. 164, No. 4,
Feb. 23, 2004; pp 370-376.)
Researchers did not identify a specific protective mechanism in
this study, although fiber has been shown to reduce heart disease
risk many ways, such as improving blood lipid profiles, lowering
blood pressure and improving insulin sensitivity, the study noted.
Soluble fiber appeared to be slightly more protective than insoluble
fiber, although the researchers cautioned those findings should
be interpreted cautiously because not all studies estimated soluble
vs. insoluble fiber intake. Apples are one of the richest sources
of fruit fiber. One medium, tennis ball-sized apple contains 5 grams
of fiber, of both soluble and insoluble types, and one slice of
whole-wheat bread contains 2 grams of fiber, according to Nutrition
Facts for both products.
These findings make the case for increasing consumption of high-fiber
apples and other foods for better health, joining previous research
findings about high-fiber foods, the authors noted - and challenging
the long-term wisdom of diets that discourage consumption of high-fiber
carbohydrates in the process.
"The recommendations to consume a diet that includes an abundance
of fiber-rich foods to prevent coronary heart disease are based
on a wealth of consistent scientific evidence," Pereira and
his colleagues wrote in the journal.
"Quality of carbohydrates is important," said Dr. Dianne
Hyson, R.D., a professor at Sacramento State University who is considered
the nation's leading authority on apple health benefits research.
"These findings indicate that consumers should embrace, not
avoid, fiber- and phytonutrient-rich fruits like apples for their
Click here to read the University of California at Davis study and find out how apples and apple juice benefit the heart.