Popular diets directly challenged by findings from 40-year fibre study

Eating fresh fruit is an easy way to add fiber each day. Apples add about 4½ grams bananas and oranges have 3 grams

Eating fresh fruit is an easy way to add fiber each day. Apples add about 4½ grams bananas and oranges have 3 grams

A recent study, the third of its kind, has revealed that most people in the world eat too little fibre, which is proven to cut the risk of cancer, heart disease and strokes by up to 30 percent.

Coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer were reduced by 16-24%. For example, higher intakes of wholegrains were associated with a reduction in NCD risk by as much as 33pc, translating to 26 fewer deaths per 1,000, with seven fewer cases of heart disease per 1,000 people.

The only risk researchers uncovered from eating a large amount of whole grain, high-fibre foods was a chance of ill effects to consumers with low mineral or iron levels.

Generally, on average, most people get only about 20 grams of fiber a day.

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".

Speaking to The Guardian, Mann said that the findings considerably challenge many popular diets that reject carbohydrates due to their correlation with sugar.

The World Health Organization analyzed research from 185 studies, 58 clinical trials, and 4,635 participants to uncover some answers.

Protection against stroke and breast cancer also increased.

One limitation of the analysis is that the studies involved only healthy individuals, so the findings do not apply to people with pre-existing chronic conditions. Consuming 25-29 grams each day was adequate but the data suggest that higher intakes of dietary fibre could provide even greater protection.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.

Reynolds advised, "Practical ways to increase fiber intake is to base meals and snacks around whole grains, vegetables, pulses, and whole fruits". However, links for low glycaemic load and low glycaemic index diets are less clear. The latest research is the most definitive evidence of the health benefits of a high fiber intake.

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.

Fiber content was shown to be a better indicator of a carbohydrate food's ability to prevent disease than glycemic index, the measure of the degree to which blood glucose goes up after a particular food is eaten.

This study was funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the WHO, the Riddet Centre of Research Excellence, the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, the University of Otago, and the Otago Southland Diabetes Research Trust.

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