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

Grant Boone
January 13, 2019

The results? The high-fiber diet means 13 fewer deaths and six fewer cases of coronary heart disease for every 1,000 people who eat high-fiber foods, compared with those who do not.

In addition, a meta-analysis of clinical trials suggested that increasing fibre intakes was associated with lower bodyweight and cholesterol, compared with lower intakes.

NEW YORK, Jan 12 ― New research commissioned by the World Health Organization has found that including plenty of fibre and whole grains in the diet can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer.

Most people globally consume about 20 grams (0.70 ounces) of dietary fiber per day, Mann said of the findings.

The study shows that most people worldwide eat less than 20 grams of fibre each day, while guidelines set in 2015 in the United Kingdom recommend that we should eat at least 30 grams per day.

In Australia women are advised to have 25g of dietary fibre a day and men 30g. Rich sources of dietary fibre include whole grains, pulses, vegetables and fruit.

Observational studies and clinical trials conducted over almost 40 years reveal the health benefits of eating at least 25 grammes to 29 grammes or more of dietary fibre a day, said researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand.

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He insisted that these findings "provide convincing evidence for nutrition guidelines to focus on increasing dietary fibre and on replacing refined grains with whole grains".

The nutritional review in question includes 58 clinical trials and 185 studies, which have been run over nearly 40 years. These studies involved initially healthy participants, so the findings can not be applied to those with existing chronic diseases. Protection against stroke, and breast cancer also increased. As per the data that is considered during the research, when 25-29 grams are taken each day, it got some higher intakes for the fiber. But it adds that for people with an iron deficiency, high levels of whole grains can further reduce iron levels.

Their analysis found up to a 30% reduction in deaths from all causes among those who consumed the most fibre. Foods with a low glycaemic index or low glycaemic load may also contain added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. "Eating high fiber and whole grain foods is of a clear benefit to our health by reducing the occurrence of a surprisingly broad range of important diseases".

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".

The WHO defines an unhealthy diet as one of the major risk factors for a range of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and other conditions linked to obesity.

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. There are some important considerations that arise from this Article.

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