Eating a high-fibre diet could lower your risk of early mortality

14 January, 2019, 09:41 | Author: Denise Dawson
  • Fresh berries are an especially easy way to punch up your fiber intake. These bite-size beauties are chock full of fiber a cup of most berries adds 3 to 4 grams and satisfies your sweet tooth to boot

"Additionally, it's important to note that drastically increasing your fibre intake overnight may also cause gastrointestinal discomfort and therefore it is recommended to do it gradually".

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.

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

Researchers also found people who increased the amount of fibre in their diet had lower body weight, and total cholesterol. Dietary fiber includes plant-based carbohydrates like beans, whole-grain cereal, and seeds. "This reduces incidence risk and mortality from a broad range of important diseases", said Jim Mann, a professor at the University of Otago, New Zealand who co-led the research.

Reynolds' team was commissioned by the World Health Organization to inform future fiber intake recommendations.

The researchers analysed over 180 observational studies and 50 clinical trials from the past four decades; that's the strength of the analysis said Mann, adding, "The health benefits of dietary fibre appear to be even greater than we thought previously".

Dietary fiber is considered the best carbohydrate, with significant health benefits - foods high in fiber recommended to curb hunger, maintain blood sugar and reduce risk of serious disease.

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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.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook for non-stop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day. These studies involved initially healthy participants, so the findings can not be applied to those with existing chronic diseases.

Fibre rich fruits include bananas, oranges, apples, mangoes, strawberries, raspberries, while beans, legumes or darker coloured vegetables too have high-fibre content.

The study, published in The Lancet, focused on premature deaths and incidence of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke. This may account for the links to health being less clear.

The authors of the review also stressed that these results mainly relate to natural, fibre rich foods and not the powdered, synthetic fibre which can be added to food.

"Commenting on the implications and limitations of the study, Professor Gary Frost, Imperial College London, UK, says, "[The authors] report findings from both prospective cohort studies and randomised controlled trials in tandem. 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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