Published: Mon, January 14, 2019
Medicine | By Tracy Klein

High-fibre diet is good for you says third major study

High-fibre diet is good for you says third major study

Researchers said people who eat diets that are high in fibre have lower risk of death and chronic diseases such as stroke or cancer.

Yet eating more fibre - at least between 25g and 29g a day - could reduce our risk of diseases such as cancers, stroke and heart disease by anything from 15 to 30%.

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.

"Our research indicates we should have at least 25 to 29 grams of fibre from foods daily, although most of us now consume less than 20 grams of fibre daily", Dr Reynolds explains.

Specifically, the study showed that such a high-fiber diet reduces coronary heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer by 16-to-24 percent. Dietary fiber includes plant-based carbohydrates like beans, whole-grain cereal, and seeds.

The average Brit gets less than 20 grams of fibre a day - 60% of the recommended daily fibre intake of 30 grams - according to the World Health Organisation.

As part of this study, researchers analysed 185 observational studies involving 135 million people, and 58 clinical trials involving 4,635 adults.

"Practical ways to increase fibre intake is to base meals and snacks around whole grains, vegetables, pulses and whole fruits".

To meet the recommended daily intake of fiber, the U.S. Food and Drug Authority suggests eating more fruits and vegetables and switching from refined to whole grains of commonly consumed foods such as bread, rice, pasta. "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". These studies involved initially healthy participants, so the findings can not be applied to those with existing chronic diseases. The latest research is the most definitive evidence of the health benefits of a high fiber intake. 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.

"(And) the breakdown of fiber in the large bowel by the resident bacteria has additional wide-ranging effects, including protection from colorectal cancer".

"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.

Like this: