Dundee University researchers help prove benefits of high fibre diet

Ben Davidson
January 14, 2019

It has reignited confusion - and debate - on carbohydrates, which in the weight loss world are considered "bad".

The kicker: the study goes against the grain of trendy low-carbohydrate diets, which may irk food manufacturers pushing such diet products, reported The Guardian.

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

The research shows that higher intakes of fiber "led to a reduced incidence of a surprisingly broad range of relevant diseases (heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer)", reduced body weight and total cholesterol, and reduced mortality, Reynolds wrote.

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.

When it came to whole grains, the researchers found that for every 15g increase consumed per day, there was a 2-19% decrease in the incidence and total deaths from coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer.

High fiber intake was associated with lower levels of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer.

This includes a decrease of up to 30pc in all-cause and cardiovascular-related mortality when comparing people who eat the highest amount of fibre to those who eat the least. In the United States, fiber intake among adults averages 15 grams a day.

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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.

Based on the research, experts recommend 25 grams (0.88 ounces) to 29 grams (1.02 ounces) of fibre each day.

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

Protection against stroke and breast cancer also increased. However, links for low glycaemic load and low glycaemic index diets are less clear.

The risk of contracting "a wide range" of communicable diseases, including heart disease, could fall by as much as a third with a diet containing grains, pulses and wholegrain bread.

Prof Mann said: "The health benefits of fibre are supported by over 100 years of research into its chemistry, physical properties, physiology and effects on metabolism".

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.

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

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