Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Dundee University researchers help prove benefits of high fibre diet

At 6 grams each pears have some of the highest fiber content in the fruit family. Eat them raw in salads or poached in wine or pomegranate juice for dessert High fibre diets make for healthier lives
Francis Osborne | 14 January, 2019, 09:39

Eating wholegrain foods which contain dietary fibre could reduce the risk of contracting a range of deadly diseases including diabetes and cancer, a study has concluded.

For every 1,000 participants in the 243 studies and trials, the impact of consuming higher fibre intakes translates into 13 fewer deaths and six fewer cases of coronary heart disease when compared to those consuming lower fibre diets.

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.

Professor Jim Mann of the University of Otago in New Zealand told The Guardian that research from the latest study "does contribute to the debate considerably". Consuming 25-29 grams each day was adequate but the data suggest that higher intakes of dietary fibre could provide even greater protection.

Eating fibre-rich foods also reduced the chance of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer 16-24 per cent, depending on the study.

Dietary fiber includes plant-based carbohydrates such as whole-grain cereal, seeds and some legumes.

The study, published today in the prestigious global journal The Lancet, looked at 58 clinical trials and 185 prospective studies from all over the world that considered the role of fibre, whole grains, dietary glycaemic index, and glycaemic load on health.

A good target for those wanting to reap health gains would be to eat 25g to 29g of dietary fibre a day, the analysis found.

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

To achieve optimum health benefits it's important to consume a balance of different fibres - soluble, insoluble and fermentable, and all play important roles in helping us maintain a healthy gut.

Foods rich in fibre include fruits, such as raspberries, bananas and apples (with skin on), and vegetables such as broccoli, turnip and sweetcorn.

One limitation of the analysis is that the studies involved only healthy individuals, so the findings do not apply to people with pre-existing chronic conditions.

The study, published in The Lancet, focused on premature deaths and incidence of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke. People who all are gym freak may note that the foods with low glycaemic index will get sugars, fats or sodium. This may account for the links to health being less clear.

The only risk researchers uncovered from eating a large amount of whole grain, high-fibre foods was a chance of ill effects to consumers with low mineral or iron levels.

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".

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