Study details how high fibre diets make for healthier lives

Study details how high fibre diets make for healthier lives

People with high intake have much lower rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes, say scientists.

Per 1,000 participants, the impact translates into 13 fewer deaths and six fewer cases of coronary heart disease, researchers said. Similar findings were shown with increasing whole-grain intakes.

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

In 2015, the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition recommended an increase in dietary fibre intake to 30 gper day, but only 9% of UK adults manage to reach this target.

To achieve optimum health benefits it's important to consume a balance of different fibres - soluble, insoluble and fermentable, and all play important roles in helping us maintain a healthy gut.

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

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"Our research indicates we should have at least 25g to 29g of fibre from foods daily, although most of us now consume less than 20g of fibre daily", said Dr Andrew Reynolds, lead author of the study. They include brown rice, whole grain bread, popcorn, whole wheat cereals, whole wheat pasta and whole wheat crackers.

According to a recent study, high intake of dietary fibre and whole grains is linked to reduced risk of non-communicable diseases as compared to people who eat lesser amounts. Protection against stroke, and breast cancer also increased.

But the data, published in a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses in The Lancet medical journal, also suggested higher dietary fibre intakes could give even greater protection.

For every 15g increase of whole grains eaten per day, total deaths and incidences of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer decreased by up to 19%.

"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".

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". Despite the recommendation, only nine percent of adults in the United Kingdom eat enough fibre. The main sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, cereals, legumes and nuts.

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