High fibre diets make for healthier lives

Maricruz Casares
Enero 11, 2019

"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.

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

According to the study, most people worldwide now consume less than 20g of dietary fibre a day.

The health benefits are best if we eat at least 25g of dietary fibre a day, according to analysis of observational studies and clinical trials conducted over almost 40 years. The results suggest a 15-30 per cent decrease in deaths from heart disease and other conditions when comparing people who eat the highest amount of fibre to those who eat the least. "This reduces incidence risk and mortality from a broad range of important diseases", said Professor Jim Mann, who co-led the research.

A high-fibre diet also showed up to a 24% fall in rates of colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke. The impact translates into 13 fewer deaths and six fewer cases of coronary heart disease for every 1,000 people. In 2015, the UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition recommended an increase in daily dietary fibre intake to 30g, but only 9 per cent of UK adults manage to reach this target.

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Fibre-rich food can favourably influence lipid and glucose levels.

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

The study also found that diets with a low glycaemic index and low glycaemic load provided limited support for protection against Type 2 diabetes and stroke only.

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.

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