A new study about the importance of fiber was confirmed for the prevention of major diseases. It was the World Health Organization that commissioned this study. The results appeared in a publication in the journal “Lancet” .
Notably, it was based on analyzing 185 observational studies and 58 clinical trials, which spanned over 40 years. In particular, the researchers could establish that a lack of fiber was responsible for causing various illnesses. Specifically, these were coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. In addition, a number of obesity-related cancers also had a relation to a lack of fiber in the diet. These were: breast cancer, esophageal cancer, endometrial cancer and prostate cancer. A medical news article describes this study as well.
Fiber prevents unnecessary deaths
Overall the researchers found that major consumption of fiber per day allowed 15% to 30% lower mortality from cardiovascular disease or from any other of the above diseases. This was in comparison to those who ate the least fiber per day.
Researchers confirmed the optimal amount of fiber to be 25 to 29 grams per day.
Consuming food rich in fiber translated into 16%-24% less coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, strokes and colon cancer.
What foods contain fiber?
Fiber-rich foods include whole grains, vegetables and fruit. Peas, lentils, beans and chickpeas are also a good source of fiber. Here is the fiber content of some fruit, roots and vegetables: pears (3.1%), strawberries (2%), avocado (6.7%) and apples (2.4%). Here is more fiber content: raspberries (6.5%), bananas (2.6%), carrots (2.8%), beets (2.8%), broccoli (2.6%) and artichoke (8.6%). We continue with: Brussels sprouts (2.6%), lentils (7.9%) and kidney beans (6.4%). More fiber containing foods are: split peas (8.3%), chickpeas (7.6%) and quinoa (2.8%). Here are some more: oats (10.6%), popcorn (14.5%), almonds (12.5%), chia seeds (34.4%), sweet potatoes (2.5%) and dark chocolate (10.9%).
Comments by the authors of the study
The authors of the Lancet publication also suggested that eating more than 29 grams of fiber per day may result in even higher health benefits as the ones described. However, the researchers warned that eating large amount s of grains could deplete the body of iron. On the other hand, many of the reviewed clinical studies showed that higher fiber intake had an association with lower body weight and lower cholesterol levels. Prof. Mann, one of the main contributors to the study said: “Fiber-rich whole foods that require chewing and retain much of their structure in the gut increase satiety and help weight control and can favorably influence lipid and glucose levels. The breakdown of fiber in the large bowel by the resident bacteria has additional wide-ranging effects including protection from colorectal cancer.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) commissioned a study that included 185 observational studies and 58 clinical trials, which spanned over 40 years. The study determined that the optimal amount of fiber intake per day was 25 to 29 grams. The group that consumed this amount of fiber had 15% to 30% less mortality from cardiovascular disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer. This was in comparison to those who ate the least amount of fiber per day.