Expert shares ‘important’ food to slash heart disease risk – 90% of Brits don’t eat enough – Express

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In the UK heart health is a growing concern. A quarter of all deaths every year are caused by cardiovascular disease.

This includes conditions and illnesses such as coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure.

There are many contributing factors to heart disease, some of which are out of our control like our age and genetics.

However, our lifestyle has a huge influence on heart health – with diet being one of the key factors.

With this in mind a dietitian spoke exclusively with Express.co.uk about the most “important” food we can eat to protect our hearts from disease.

However, Dr Carrie Ruxton, dietitian and advisor to the General Mills fibre campaign, warned that the majority of Britons aren’t eating enough of this vital food.

“Most people are aware that fibre – roughage – is good for the gut but just a quarter of Brits know that it’s also important for the heart,” she said.

She referenced a new report on the health consequences of the “Great British fibre gap”.

This found that the average gap between fibre recommendations and intakes in the UK is 10 grams.

And 90 percent of adults in the UK are not eating enough fibre.

“More than nine out of 10 adults are missing out on the benefits of a high fibre diet which include cholesterol lowering, weight management, supporting healthy gut bacteria and keeping blood sugar levels balanced – all vital for good heart health needs,” Carrie said.

“Studies show that plugging this gap with an extra 10 grams of fibre daily can lower our risk of a heart attack by 15 percent.”

This is equivalent to just three servings of fruit a day.

Carrie said: “This is confirmed by reports from European and UK food scientific bodies who say that getting enough fibre in the diet not only supports normal bowel function but lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.

“However, a big issue is that most people don’t know where to find fibre in their diet, beyond obvious foods like bran flakes.”

To boost your fibre intake, Carrie recommended five simple steps.

“Eat your recommended five-a-day of fruit and vegetables (frozen, dried, tinned and one serving of juice all count),” she said.

“Choose nuts, seeds, oatcakes or dried fruit as snacks instead of sweets and chocolate

“Buy wholegrain breakfast cereals, bread, pasta and rice. Add beans and pulses to meat-based recipes, for example, chilli, stew, curry.”

She added: “Look on the label for foods which are fortified with extra fibre.”

The NHS advises that adults eat up to 30g of fibre a day.

“As most adults are only eating an average of about 20g a day, we need to find ways of increasing our intake,” the health service says.

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