High fibre diets make for healthier lives

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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. "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". Furthermore, whole grain breads or nuts like almonds, pistachios or pumpkin and sunflower seeds too have a high-fibre content in them.

A high-fibre diet also showed up to a 24% fall in rates of colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke.

While the consumption of 25-29g of fibre per day was adequate, the findings suggest that a higher daily intake could offer even greater protection.

As per Mann, he said in a statement that the breakdown of this fiber among the large resident of bacteria has got some additional wide-ranging effects that include the protection from colorectal cancer.

Increasing fibre intake is associated with lower bodyweight and cholesterol, compared with lower intake or synthetic and extracted fibre.

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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. But it adds that for people with an iron deficiency, high levels of whole grains can further reduce iron levels. "However sugars, starches and fibers are all carbohydrates that perform different roles in the body", Reynolds wrote.

Protection against stroke and breast cancer also increased.

Glycemic index is not as good as dietary fiber when considering whether something is a good carbohydrate-containing food, Mann said. "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". What are some rich sources of fiber that people can integrate into their daily diets?

You can increase fiber in your diet for instance by eating more beans and lentils. Not many, however, know that pop corn is also a possible source of fiber, with 14.5 grams of fiber for every 100 grams of popped popcorn.

Written by Nina Avramova for CNN.

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