Study backs high-fibre diet for health and weight

Modesto Morganelli
Gennaio 11, 2019

The study offers another reason why you may consider upping your fibre intake daily.

Increasing fibre intake is associated with lower bodyweight and cholesterol, compared with lower intake or synthetic and extracted fibre.

The researchers included 185 observational studies and 58 clinical trials involving 4,635 adult participants.

Their analysis found up to a 30% reduction in deaths from all causes among those who consumed the most fibre.

For every 8 gram increase in fibre eaten a day, total deaths and incidences of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer fell by 5 to 27 per cent, the study said.

The study was commissioned by the World Health Organisation as it prepares new recommendations for optimal daily fibre intake and to determine which types of carbohydrate provide the best protection against NCDs and weight gain.

United Kingdom nutrition guidelines since 2015 recommend a daily fibre intake of 30g, but only 9% of adults manage to reach this target.

Co-author professor Jim Mann said: "This study is essential as there is increased public confusion over what to base our meal choices on, and the impact our dietary choices have on our risk of certain diseases". "For example, wholegrain fibres were shown to have significant health effects whereas the evidence that low glycaemic index diets [focusing on foods such as fruit, vegetables, beans and lentils] were effective were less convincing".

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".

"Fibre-rich whole foods that require chewing and retain much of their structure in the gut increase satiety and help weight control and can favourably influence lipid and glucose levels".

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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