High-fibre diet may lower risk of death, chronic diseases

Rolled oats

The findings suggested a 15-30 per cent decrease in all-cause and cardiovascular related mortality; and reduced incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, Type-2 diabetes and colorectal cancer by 16-24 per cent.

The health benefits are best if we eat at least 25g of dietary fibre a day, according to analysis of observational studies and clinical trials conducted over almost 40 years.

Higher intakes of whole grains were also associated with a 13 to 33 per cent reduction in the risk of developing chronic diseases, and for every 15g increase of whole grains eaten per day, total deaths and rates of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer decreased by 2 to 19 per cent.

The study also revealed that diets with a low glycaemic index and low glycaemic load happened to offer limited support for protection against Type-2 diabetes and stroke only.

Based on the research, experts recommend 25 grams (0.88 ounces) to 29 grams (1.02 ounces) of fibre each day.

High fibre diets are better at protecting against most diseases compared to low-fibre diets.

Prof Mann said: "We also found an overwhelmingly positive effect, with high fibre diets being protective against heart disease, diabetes, cancers and measures of mortality". Fiber Intake Fiber is an important part of diet because it promotes weight loss, fights constipation, lowers blood sugar levels, and reduces the amount of cholesterol that gets into the bloodstream. But it adds that for people with an iron deficiency, high levels of whole grains can further reduce iron levels. "For example, wholegrain fibres were shown to have significant health effects whereas the evidence that low glycaemic index diets [focusing on foods such as fruit, vegetables, beans and lentils] were effective were less convincing". These studies involved initially healthy participants, so the findings can not be applied to those with existing chronic diseases. What are some rich sources of fiber that people can integrate into their daily diets?

"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".

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