Saturday, 19 January, 2019

High-fibre diet may 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 High fibre diets make for healthier lives
Anna Jefferson | 13 January, 2019, 19:09

The World Health Organization has recently announced that a high-fiber diet of good carbohydrates can potentially reduce the risk of heart disease and decrease the possibility of related diseases like diabetes, strokes and colorectal cancer.

Dr Andrew Reynolds, lead author of the study, says the results showed there was clear evidence people should increase their intake of fibre.

Every day, Americans consume on average 20 grams of fiber for men and 18 grams of fiber for women.

The risk of contracting "a wide range" of communicable diseases, including heart disease, could fall by as much as a third with a diet containing grains, pulses and wholegrain bread.

The team from the University of Otago in New Zealand looked at 185 clinical trials and 58 studies carried out during the last four decades involving more than a million people.

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

They focused on premature deaths from and incidence of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke, as well as incidence of type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and cancers associated with obesity.

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

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

Fibre is the indigestible parts of plant foods, such as vegetables, fruit, grains and beans that keep the digestive system healthy.

"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". 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. They also note that the study mainly relates to naturally-occurring fibre rich foods rather than synthetic and extracted fibre, such as powders, that can be added to foods.

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".

Fiber content was shown to be a better indicator of a carbohydrate food's ability to prevent disease than glycemic index, the measure of the degree to which blood glucose goes up after a particular food is eaten. Second, although the absence of association between glycaemic index and load with non-communicable disease and risk factors is consistent with another recent systematic review, caution is needed when interpreting these data, as the number of studies is small and findings are heterogeneous. It was conducted by researchers from the University of Otago, the Riddet Centre of Research Excellence, and the University of Dundee.

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