High-fibre diet lowers risk of death, non-communicable diseases: Lancet

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People who eat lots of high-fibre and whole grain foods have lower risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and other chronic diseases than people whose diets are low in fibre, a study commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO) says.

A high-fibre diet also showed up to a 24% fall in rates of colorectal cancer, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke.

It said that eating more fibre will cut people's chances of heart disease and early death.

He said: "Our research indicates we should have at least 25-29g of fibre from foods daily, although most of us now consume less than 20g of fibre daily".

Foods with high fiber content include fresh, whole fruits, brown rice and breads made from whole grains, raw vegetables, and beans and legumes.

The World Health Organization analyzed research from 185 studies, 58 clinical trials, and 4,635 participants to uncover some answers. Dietary fiber lowers cholesterol levels and body weight, and thus obesity-related cancers: breast cancer, endometrial cancer, esophageal cancer and prostate cancer.

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

For every 8g increase of dietary fibre eaten per day, total deaths and incidences of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer decreased by 5-27%. Achieving Better Overall Health Current government dietary guidelines recommend that adults consume 25 to 38 grams of fiber a day.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed. They explained that foods with a low glycemic index or low glycemic load may also contain added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium which could account for the health benefits of this type of diet being less clear.

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.

Reynolds advised, "Practical ways to increase fiber intake is to base meals and snacks around whole grains, vegetables, pulses, and whole fruits".

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". This alignment is seen beautifully for dietary fibre intake, in which observational studies reveal a reduction in all-cause and cardiovascular mortality, which is associated with a reduction in bodyweight, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure reported in randomised controlled trials.

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