Health conscious people always maintain a balance in their diets. Mostly prefer diets having high quantity of qualitative fiber. According to a new research and analysis it is proved that the chances of death and chronic diseases among the people, taking high quality of fiber is far less than the people having low fiber intake. There are several types of fiber. Each works differently in your body and gives you distinct health perks. You may be familiar with the terms “soluble fiber” and “insoluble fiber,” but within each of those labels are many different kinds of the nutrient.
TYPES OF FIBER
Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. It is also found in psyllium, a common fiber supplement. Some types of soluble fiber may help lower risk of heart disease. Soluble fibers also bind with fatty acids, flushing them out of the body and helping to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. It adds bulk to the stool and appears to help food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines. All types of soluble fibers slow digestion, so it takes longer for your body to absorb sugar (glucose) from the foods you eat. This helps prevent quick spikes in your blood sugar levels, an important part of managing diabetes. Insoluble fibers help hydrate and move waste through your intestines. That’s one thing it does that helps prevent constipation and keeps you regular.
Findings of Research/Analysis
Andrew Reynolds in an email wrote “that Fiber’s health benefits have been recorded by over 100 years of research,”. Reynolds further wrote that the research indicates that higher intakes of fiber “led to a reduced incidence of a surprisingly broad range of relevant diseases (heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer),” reduced body weight and total cholesterol, and reduced mortality. Reynolds’ team was commissioned by the World Health Organization to inform future fiber intake recommendations. The researchers analyzed over 180 observational studies and 50 clinical trials from the past four decades; that’s the strength of the analysis, explained co-author Jim Mann, a professor of human nutrition and medicine at the University of Otago. Professor Mann also said that “The health benefits of dietary fiber appear to be even greater than we thought previously,”
Out Come of Research in Brief
- Rich fiber diet reduces 15-30 % risk of death and chronic diseases among the people who use fiber as compared to those with the lowest intake.
- A fiber-rich diet on average, reduces 22% risk of stroke, lower 16% risk of Type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer. In addition it reduces 30 % of death from coronary heart disease.
- The finding of research indicates that globally most people consume about 20 grams (0.70 ounces) of dietary fiber per day, basing on this indication the researchers recommend 25 grams (0.88 ounces) to 29 grams (1.02 ounces) of fiber each day for every men and women. The study further indicates that intake of higher amounts are even more beneficial.
- This study also indicates that an intake of 15-gram (0.52 ounce) of whole grains, per day leads to 2 to19% reduction in total deaths and incidents of coronary heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer.
- The study notes that the relationships between high fiber / whole grain consumption and reduced non communicable diseases could be causal.
- The research found no harm in taking high fiber intake. But warn people having iron deficiency, as it can further reduce their iron levels.
- The researchers note that carbohydrates include sugars, starches and dietary fiber. “However sugars, starches, and fibers are all carbohydrates that perform different roles in the body,”
- 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.
- The study found small risk reduction in stroke and Type 2 diabetes for people adhering to a low-glycemic-index diet, which involves foods like green vegetables, most fruits, kidney beans and bran breakfast cereals.
- The finding of research indicates that glycemic index is not as good as dietary fiber when considering whether something is a good carbohydrate-containing food. Foods that don’t increase blood glucose may still be high in sugars, saturated fats and sodium. Ice cream, for example, has a low glycemic index but is high in sugar.
- There is a limitation of this study, that is in this study only healthy individuals examined. Therefore the findings do not apply to people with pre-existing chronic conditions.
- These researchers also explained that the study was held in Western cultures /societies; it is not “100% certain” that the results therefore apply to less-privileged societies, Mann explained.
- Dietitian and lecturer Doctor Brian Power from nutrition at University College London, who was part of this research study said that the outcome of study is very robust and powerful. Doctor Brain also said that the study panel is the highest form of evidence in terms of summarizing what we know.
- The study also recommended that any increase in dietary fiber add to health benefits. The researcher suggested that it takes only small changes in diet to achieve a health benefit that is a person can add eight grams of fiber to his diet with a breakfast of a bran flakes, four dried apricots and a handful of almonds.
- Mr Reynolds also advised that practical ways to increase fiber intake is only possible by having whole grains, vegetables, pulses, and whole fruits.
- Mr Helen Stokes-Lampard, chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners wrote that “living a healthy lifestyle is an obvious route to improving our health outcomes, and eating a balanced diet, as well as taking regular exercise, getting enough sleep, drinking alcohol in moderation and not smoking, is a key part of this.”
- Mr Stokes-Lampard who was not involved in this new research and analysis said that “We’ve known for a long time that eating foods high in fibre is good for us and helps to aid digestion,” “so it’s reassuring to see this high-quality research showing how far-reaching these benefits may be for our long-term health and wellbeing, and confirming why it’s so important to include these foods in our diet.”