These diet changes slash risk of premature death by nearly a third

These diet changes slash risk of premature death by nearly a third

Higher intakes of whole grains were also associated with a 13 to 33 per cent reduction in the risk of developing chronic diseases, and for every 15g increase of whole grains eaten per day, total deaths and rates of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer decreased by 2 to 19 per cent.

The team was commissioned by the World Health Organization to inform future fibre 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, professor of human nutrition and medicine at the University of Otago.

When your mother told you to eat your porridge she knew what she was talking about, with a global study confirming a high-fibre diet protects against heart disease.

The researchers found that for every 8g increase of dietary fibre consumed each day, there was a 5-27% decrease in the incidence and total deaths from coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer.

He said: "Our research indicates we should have at least 25-29g of fibre from foods daily, although most of us now consume less than 20g of fibre daily". "Eating high fibre and whole grain foods is of a clear benefit to our health by reducing the occurrence of a surprisingly broad range of important diseases", he says.

"Our findings provide convincing evidence for nutrition guidelines to focus on increasing dietary fiber and on replacing refined grains with whole grains".

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Protection against stroke and breast cancer also rose.

However, the researchers warned that most people globally only get about 20 grams of fiber a day, below the minimum recommended daily intake.

This can be achieved by changing from white bread to wholegrain or multi-grain bread, substituting white rice with brown and choosing whole-wheat pasta and breakfast cereals, along with five servings of vegetables and two of fruit, daily. Foods with a low glycaemic index or low glycaemic load can also contain added sugars, saturated fats and sodium.

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

Foods rich in fibre include fruits, such as raspberries, bananas and apples (with skin on), and vegetables such as broccoli, turnip and sweetcorn.

The authors only included studies with healthy participants, so the findings can not be applied to people with existing chronic diseases.

What are some rich sources of fiber that people can integrate into their daily diets? The latest research is the most definitive evidence of the health benefits of a high fiber intake.

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