Eating a lot of dietary fibers increases life expectancy

Henrietta Brewer
January 13, 2019

A new report suggests people who eat high-fiber diets have a lower risk of death and chronic diseases.

High fiber intake was associated with lower levels of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. For example, higher intakes of wholegrains were associated with a reduction in NCD risk by as much as 33pc, translating to 26 fewer deaths per 1,000, with seven fewer cases of heart disease per 1,000 people.

Professor Mann said the health benefits of dietary fibre - contained in foods such as whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruit - come from its chemistry, physical properties, physiology and its effects on metabolism.

Foods with high fiber content include fresh, whole fruits, brown rice and breads made from whole grains, raw vegetables, and beans and legumes.

The conclusion was drawn from observational studies and clinical trials covering nearly 40 years, which showed that eating between 25g and 29g of dietary fibre shows significant health benefits.

Protection against stroke and breast cancer also rose. These studies involved initially healthy participants, so the findings can not be applied to those with existing chronic diseases.

The study revealed that individuals throughout the world eat less than 20 grams per day, but it recommends that a person should eat at least between 25 and 29 grams of fiber per day, with 30 grams even better.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed. Fitness enthusiasts and health conscious people must note that foods with a low glycaemic index or low glycaemic load may also contain added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.

"The work that we have done particularly on fibre and the gut micro flora (microbiome), in Cambridge and in recent years in Dundee, means we have enough evidence from population studies, human experimental work and the biochemistry and physiological of fibre to be confident of the clear benefits to health".

"We've known for a long time that eating foods high in fiber is good for us and helps to aid digestion", wrote Stokes-Lampard, who was not involved in the new analysis, "so it's reassuring to see this high-quality research showing how far-reaching these benefits may be for our long-term health and wellbeing, and confirming why it's so important to include these foods in our diet".

The authors of the review also stressed that these results mainly relate to natural, fibre rich foods and not the powdered, synthetic fibre which can be added to food. There are some important considerations that arise from this Article. Improving the accuracy of dietary assessment is a priority area for nutrition research.

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