High-fibre diet lowers risk of death, non-communicable diseases: Lancet
High-fibre diet lowers risk of death, non-communicable diseases: Lancet
High fibre diets make for healthier lives
13 January, 2019, 19:07
A fibre-rich diet was linked, on average, to a 22 per cent reduced risk of stroke, a 16 per cent lower risk of Type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer, and a 30 per cent reduced risk of death from coronary heart disease. The impact translates into 13 fewer deaths and six fewer cases of coronary heart disease for every 1,000 people.
The study was commissioned by the World Health Organisation which is looking at the development of new recommendations for optimal daily fibre intake. Even worse, the average adult in the USA consumes only 15 grams of fibre per day.
Fibre rich fruits include bananas, oranges, apples, mangoes, strawberries, raspberries, while beans, legumes or darker coloured vegetables too have high-fibre content.
In this study, the team has analyzed about 185 observational studies and have conducted about 58 clinical trials that involve 4,635 adult participants.
The researchers only included studies with healthy participants, so the findings can not be applied to people with existing chronic diseases.
"The breakdown of fibre in the large bowel by the resident bacteria has additional wide-ranging effects including protection from colorectal cancer", Mann said. Protection against stroke, and breast cancer also increased.
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The study revealed that individuals throughout the world eat less than 20 grams per day, but it recommends that a person should eat at least between 25 and 29 grams of fiber per day, with 30 grams even better.
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However, their findings imply that while low-carb diets are popular with people wishing to lose weight, this risks the health benefits from eating whole grain fibre. The analysis also did not find any danger associated with eating high amounts of fiber from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (note that supplements do not count). The researchers were interested in determining the ideal carbohydrate to protect against chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes mortality, and other risk factors. However, links for low glycaemic load and low glycaemic index diets are less clear.
"The health benefits of fibre are supported by over 100 years of research into its chemistry, physical properties, physiology and effects on metabolism". They also favorably influence the lipid as well as glucose 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".
Speaking to The Guardian, Mann said that the findings considerably challenge many popular diets that reject carbohydrates due to their correlation with sugar.
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