The health benefits of eating fiber have long been hailed, but how much fiber should we all be eating to prevent chronic disease and premature death? A new study reveals just that…
Commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO), the research is the culmination of a meta-analysis of observational studies and clinical trials that took place over almost 40 years. The results appear in the journal The Lancet.
One of the objectives of the research was to help in the development of new guidelines for dietary fiber consumption, as well as discover which carbs protect us the most against noncommunicable diseases.
So how much fiber should we be eating?
Well, the research found that a daily intake of 25–29 grams of fiber is ideal. People who consumed this amount of fiber each day were 15–30 percent less likely to die prematurely from any cause and had a 16–24 percent lower incidence of stroke, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer.
The researchers also say that consuming more than 29 grams of fiber per day could lead to even more health benefits.
Speaking about the findings of the study, Professor Jim Mann, of the University of Otago, in New Zealand, said: “The health benefits of fiber are supported by over 100 years of research into its chemistry, physical properties, physiology, and effects on metabolism.
“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.”
Fiber-rich foods include vegetables, whole grains, fruit, and pulses, such as beans, peas, lentils, and chickpeas.
Are you consuming enough fiber?