According to recent studies that analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, increased fiber intake is associated with lower body weight, including a decrease in abdominal fat. Also, a high-fiber diet has been linked to a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. These findings were recently presented at the Experimental Biology Conference in New Orleans.
Also at the Experimental Biology Conference, a report by the Life Sciences Research Office funded by Kellogg Company shows that the health benefits of fiber, including heart-disease prevention, are primarily associated with the fiber-rich bran components of whole grain.
While most people turn to products made with whole grain to get the fiber they need, many are unaware that the amount of fiber in these products can vary dramatically. In fact, fewer than five percent of Americans consume adequate amounts of fiber. The recommended amount of fiber that should be consumed daily is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men, according to the Institute of Medicine.
“While eating whole grains is important to overall health, a group of recent studies reveal that dietary fiber may have the greatest health benefit,” says Nelson Almeida, Ph.D., vice president, global nutrition, Kellogg Company. “Dietary fiber is concentrated in the bran-component of grain. Bran also provides other important nutrients and phytonutrients.”
Fiber and Weight Management
The first study, conducted by Susan S. Cho, Ph.D. and Theresa Nicklas, DrPH found that dietary fiber appears to be an active component of whole grains in relation to their effect on body-weight management. It also found that increased fiber intake is associated with a lower body-mass index and waist circumference in women and a lower waist circumference in men.
Fiber and Metabolic Syndrome
Data from the second study conducted by Carol O’Neil, Ph.D., RD; Theresa Nicklas; Susan Cho and Michael Zanovec suggests that a higher intake of dietary fiber is associated with a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome is characterized by a combination of symptoms such as an elevated waist circumference (greater than 40 inches for males, 35 inches for females), elevated blood sugar and high-blood pressure. These factors can contribute greatly to a person’s risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The study also found that increased fiber intake is associated with higher HDL (good) cholesterol and a lower risk of high-blood pressure.
Almeida added, “These studies reaffirm the importance of fiber-containing grains, while also serving as a reminder that not all products made with whole grain are the same. Products and materials qualifying as ‘whole grain’ vary in their composition and nutrient profile, including the amount of fiber they contain.”
About Kellogg Company
With 2008 sales of nearly $13 billion, Kellogg Company is the world’s leading producer of cereal and a leading producer of convenience foods, including cookies, crackers, toaster pastries, cereal bars, fruit-flavored snacks, frozen waffles and veggie foods. The Company’s brands include Kellogg’s®, Keebler®, Pop-Tarts®, Eggo®, Cheez-It®, All-Bran®, Mini-Wheats® Nutri-Grain®, Rice Krispies®, Special K®, Chips Deluxe®, Famous Amos®, Sandies®, Bear Naked®, Kashi®, MorningStar Farms®, Gardenburger® and Stretch Island®. Kellogg products are manufactured in 19 countries and marketed in more than 180 countries. For more information, visit www.kelloggcompany.com. Kellogg Company’s Corporate Responsibility report including its approach, progress and future direction in the marketplace, workplace, environment and community can be found at www.kelloggcompany.com/CR. For information on Kellogg Company’s commitment to nutrition, visit www.kelloggnutrition.com.