High-fiber diet linked to lower risk of death, chronic diseases

Fiber helps stave off heart disease cancer and digestive problems while helping control cholesterol blood sugar and weight gain. But Americans get an average of only 15 grams a day instead of the 25 to 30 that doctors recommend. It's not hard to add

Fiber helps stave off heart disease cancer and digestive problems while helping control cholesterol blood sugar and weight gain. But Americans get an average of only 15 grams a day instead of the 25 to 30 that doctors recommend. It's not hard to add

For every 15 grams of whole grain (high fiber, NDLR) dietary supplement consumed per day, the total number of deaths and the incidence of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer, for example, decreased by 19%. Furthermore, whole grain breads or nuts like almonds, pistachios or pumpkin and sunflower seeds too have a high-fibre content in them.

The study was commissioned by the World Health Organisation as it prepares new recommendations for optimal daily fibre intake and to determine which types of carbohydrate provide the best protection against NCDs and weight gain.

He said: "Our research indicates we should have at least 25-29g of fibre from foods daily, although most of us now consume less than 20g of fibre daily".

"This reduces incidence risk and mortality from a broad range of important diseases", he said.

As part of this study, researchers analysed 185 observational studies involving 135 million people, and 58 clinical trials involving 4,635 adults.

However, the study found only limited support that diets with a low glycemic index and low glycemic load offered protection against type 2 diabetes and stroke.

The authors only included studies with healthy participants, so the findings can not be applied to people with existing chronic diseases.

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For every 8g increase of dietary fibre eaten per day, total deaths and incidences of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer decreased by 5-27 per cent. Protection against stroke, and breast cancer also increased.

The data suggested that consuming 25-29 grams each day was adequate but higher intakes of dietary fibre could provide even greater protection.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed. People who all are gym freak may note that the foods with low glycaemic index will get sugars, fats or sodium.

"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".

Foods rich in fibre include fruits, such as raspberries, bananas and apples (with skin on), and vegetables such as broccoli, turnip and sweetcorn. When it comes to the fiber-rich whole foods, it requires chewing and also retains the structure in the gut that increases the satiety and help in weight control.

Commenting on the implications Prof Gary Frost, of Imperial College London, said: "Improving the accuracy of dietary assessment is a priority area for nutrition research".

This study was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the WHO, the Riddet Centre of Research Excellence, the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, the University of Otago, and the Otago Southland Diabetes Research Trust.

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