Researchers have found that foods high in fiber provide protection against cardiovascular disease, and the effect is particularly marked in women.

“Women who ate a diet high in fiber had an almost 25-percent lower risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease compared with women who ate a low-fiber diet,” said Peter Wallström, a researcher at Lund University in Sweden and the primary author of the article. “In men the effect was less pronounced, however, the results confirmed that a high-fiber diet does at least protect men from stroke.”

The study, which was recently published in the scientific journal PLOS One, involved the study of the eating habits more than 20,000 residents of the Swedish city of Malmö, with a focus on the risk of cardiovascular disease. The importance of 13 different nutrient variables—aspects of fiber, fats, proteins and carbohydrates—was analyzed.

The exact reason for the difference between the sexes is unclear. However, a probable explanation is that women consume fiber from healthier food sources than men do. Women ate a lot of fiber in the form of fruit and vegetables, whereas the most important source of fiber for men was bread.

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