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Less than 10% of us eat enough fibre

14 January 2019
Less than 10% of us eat enough fibre

People who eat extra fibre and whole grains are more likely to avoid certain diseases such as heart attacks, stroke, cancer and diabetes compared to people who eat lesser amounts, a review of all the available evidence has concluded.

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.

In a paper published Thursday in the journal The Lancet, researchers scoured data from over 240 previous studies, including clinical trials with over 4,600 people to determine at what amount of fiber intake provides the best health benefits.

A new report suggests people who eat high-fiber diets have a lower risk of death and chronic diseases.

Prof Mann said: "We also found an overwhelmingly positive effect, with high fibre diets being protective against heart disease, diabetes, cancers and measures of mortality".

United Kingdom nutrition guidelines since 2015 recommend a daily fibre intake of 30g, but only 9% of adults manage to reach this target. Dietary fibre includes plant-based carbohydrates such as whole-grain cereal, seeds and some legumes including peas, chickpeas, lentils, lupin beans, mesquite, carob, soybeans, peanuts and tamarind.

"Some fibre e.g. beta glucans can help to lower cholesterol by binding to the cholesterol and prevent it being absorbed".

The study found small risk reduction in stroke and Type 2 diabetes for people adhering to a low-glycemic-index diet, which involves foods like green vegetables, most fruits, kidney beans and bran breakfast cereals. Consuming a lot of dietary fiber protects us from all diseases, and therefore significantly extends life expectancy, according to a enormous synthesis of Lancet studies on the subject. People who all are gym freak may note that the foods with low glycaemic index will get sugars, fats or sodium.

In Australia women are advised to have 25g of dietary fibre a day and men 30g.

The researchers only included studies with healthy participants, so the findings can not be applied to people with existing chronic diseases.

"Any increase in dietary fiber has health benefits", he added, and it takes only small changes in diet to achieve a health benefit.

"Fiber and whole grains are important physiologically, metabolically, and even to gut microbiome", explained Andrew Reynolds, lead author of the paper.

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".