#347 Is Fiber the Secret to Avoiding Heart Disease and Living to 100?

Is Fiber the Secret to Avoiding Heart Disease and Living to 100?

Are you looking for a simple yet highly effective way to enhance your cardiovascular health and boost your chances of living a long, vibrant life? Look no further than your daily diet. Increasing your fiber intake might be the key to achieving these goals, according to a recent study. In this blog, we’ll break down the findings of this study and provide practical tips on how to integrate fiber into your daily routine to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and promote healthy aging.

The Study: Unlocking the Fiber Secret

A comprehensive analysis of nearly 250 studies has unveiled the remarkable protective effects of dietary fiber. Researchers found that individuals who consumed ample fiber from vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains slashed their risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer by up to 30% compared to those with lower fiber intake.

How Could Boosting Fiber Prevent Heart Disease?

Fiber is a dietary powerhouse that plays a significant role in preventing cardiovascular disease. This indigestible plant material, found in foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts, offers a multitude of heart-healthy benefits. Indeed, high fiber diets have been shown to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar levels, body weight, and inflammation levels.

First, one of fiber’s primary functions is to help lower levels of LDL cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, in the bloodstream. Soluble fiber, in particular, acts like a sponge, binding to cholesterol particles and escorting them out of the body, reducing the risk of cholesterol buildup in the arteries.

Second, fiber promotes healthy blood pressure by supporting optimal blood vessel function and reducing inflammation.

Third, fiber helps regulate blood sugar levels, which is crucial for preventing diabetes—a major risk factor for heart disease.

Fourth, Inclusion of fiber-rich foods in your diet not only promotes a feeling of fullness and aids in weight management but also contributes to overall cardiovascular wellness, making it a simple yet effective addition to your heart-healthy lifestyle.

Fifth, high fiber diets have been shown to decrease inflammation levels, as measured by CRP (C-reactive protein) which is associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

Fiber Intake in China’s Longevity Village

In our extensive five-year study of the most densely populated centenarian region in China, which was featured in our Amazon best-selling book The Longevity Plan, a striking discovery emerged. We identified a pivotal factor contributing to the remarkable longevity of these individuals, who lived beyond the age of 100 without experiencing heart disease, dementia, or mobility challenges – their remarkably high-fiber diet. Our observations revealed that their daily fiber intake consistently ranged from 60 to 90 grams, which is two to three times the recommended daily allowance of fiber in the United States.

How to Boost the Fiber in Your Breakfast: The Green Smoothie

1. Start with a base of leafy greens like spinach or kale for your green smoothie. Add a tablespoon of chia seeds for fiber, and a cup of unsweetened almond milk or unsweetened yogurt for creaminess.

2. To increase fiber content, consider adding a tablespoon of ground flaxseed or psyllium husk. These are excellent sources of soluble fiber that can help regulate cholesterol levels and promote bowel regularity.

3. Sweeten your smoothie with fiber-rich fruits like berries (blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries) for an extra dose of antioxidants and fiber.

How to Boost the Fiber in Your Lunch: Chickpea Salad

Create a delicious chickpea salad with canned chickpeas, diced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, broccoli, kale, and fresh parsley. Dress it with olive oil, lemon juice, and your favorite herbs and spices. Chickpeas, broccoli, and kale are all fantastic sources of fiber and are all plant-based proteins. And if you want to add some chicken or fish to your salad that is perfectly acceptable. Likewise, if you want to substitute edamame or black beans instead of chickpeas that works as well.

How to Boost the Fiber in Your Dinner: Quinoa and Roasted Vegetables

Prepare a quinoa and roasted vegetable bowl. Roast a mix of fiber-rich veggies like broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, onions, and zucchini with olive oil and seasonings. Serve them over cooked quinoa. Quinoa is a whole grain that’s higher in fiber compared to many other grains. You can also add some black beans or lentils to your quinoa for an extra fiber and protein boost. And if you want to add a little chicken or fish to your roasted vegetables that is certainly an option.

3 Tips When Increasing Fiber

1. Gradual Transition: Introduce fiber into your diet gradually to allow your digestive system time to adapt. This helps minimize any potential discomfort.

2. Stay Hydrated: Increasing your fiber intake necessitates higher water consumption to maintain digestive health. Be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

3. Consult a Physician: If you have any existing digestive issues, especially constipation, consult your healthcare provider before making significant changes to your fiber consumption.


Incorporating more fiber into your daily diet isn’t just a health-conscious decision—it’s a recipe for a longer, heart-healthy life. The evidence is clear: fiber is your ally in the fight against cardiovascular disease and a key player in promoting healthy longevity. So, start today by embracing fiber-rich foods and making them a delightful part of your daily menu. Your heart and your future self will thank you for it.


The information provided in this blog article is intended for general informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

About the Photo

This photo was taken on my mountain bike ride through Park City, Utah, over the weekend. It is a picture of the McPolin Barn, an iconic landmark in this picturesque mountain town.

Disclaimer Policy: This website is intended to give general information and does not provide medical advice. This website does not create a doctor-patient relationship between you and Dr. John Day. If you have a medical problem, immediately contact your healthcare provider. Information on this website is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition. Dr. John Day is not responsible for any losses, damages or claims that may result from your medical decisions.

  1. We greatly appreciate your Newsletters, books and excellent medical care. We are interested in living a long and healthy lifestyles. Accordingly, we eat exercise daily and eat a whole-food plant-based diet with occasional fish. We particularly pay attention to minimizing the saturated fats.
    We have a question about getting sufficient protein and calcium. What do you do to make sure you address sufficient protein and calcium in your diet?

    Respectfully, Scott LeBaron

  2. I pretty much adhere to the higher fiber diet. I also take a psyllium husk fiber supplement every morning, 2 teaspoons, which also seems to make bowel movements easier. Is this too much fiber? Jim