Salas-Salvado’, J., M. Bullo’, A. Pe’rez-Heras, E. Ros, 2006. Dietary fiber, nuts and cardiovascular diseases. British Journal of Nutrition. 96, Suppl. 2, S45-S51.
Dietary fiber has a range of metabolic health benefits. Through a variety of mechanisms, dietary fiber, and the viscous variety in particular, slows down gastric emptying and intestinal transit, decreases the rate of intestinal carbohydrate absorption, and increases fecal bile acid excretion. Therefore, consumption of some types of soluble fiber can enhance satiety, which is associated with a lower BMI, and reduce blood cholesterol and the postprandial glucose response. Surprisingly, the consumption of insoluble fiber from whole grains, though metabolically inert, has been associated with a reduction in the risk of developing coronary heart disease and diabetes in epidemiological studies. The likely reason is that whole grains, like nuts, legumes and other edible seeds, contain many bioactive phytochemicals and various antioxidants. After cereals, nuts are the vegetable foods that are richest in fiber, which may partly explain their benefit on the lipid profile and cardiovascular health.