People Helping Each Other

Higher-fiber diet linked to lower risk of death

People Helping Each Other

reuters_logoBy Shereen Lehman

A high fiber diet no longer means a bowl full of twigs that taste like cardboard. Get yours with a bowl full of berries, steamed vegetables, beans, legumes, seeds and nuts.

People who ate the most fiber were less likely to die of any cause during a recent study of nearly one million people.

The finding might be explained by fiber’s potential to lower the risk of chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and several types of cancer, researchers say.

Individuals should be encouraged to increase their dietary fiber intake “to potentially decrease the risk of premature death,” Yang Yang, of the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China, and colleagues write in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

They pooled data from 17 previous studies that tracked 982,411 men and women, mostly in Europe and the U.S., and recorded about 67,000 deaths.

Yang’s team divided participants into five groups based on their daily fiber intake. Those in the top fifth, who ate the greatest amount of fiber daily, were 16 percent less likely to die than those in the bottom fifth, who consumed the least amount of fiber.

In addition, eight studies showed a 10 percent drop in risk for any cause of death with each 10-gram per day increase in fiber intake.

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