A healthy diet and regular exercise can help you avoid heart attacks and strokes, but a good amount of fiber can also be beneficial.
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Research from the University of Otago in New Zealand recently conducted a study, published in the Lancet, to determine the link between dietary fiber and health in general.
To do this, they reviewed 185 observational studies, which totaled 135 million people / year, and 58 clinical trials, which included 4,635 adults. Analysts focused on premature deaths from coronary heart disease, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer and other cancers associated with obesity. They also evaluated the diets of the subjects. The complete analysis took place for almost 40 years.
After analyzing the results, they found that people who consume the most fiber in their diet have between 15% and 30% less likely to die prematurely from any cause or cardiovascular condition, compared to those who eat less fiber. .
Eating foods with a lot of fiber was also associated with a 16 to 24 percent lower incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and colon cancer.
The authors noted that the impact could translate into 13 deaths and six fewer cases of coronary heart disease per 1,000 participants.
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"Our findings provide compelling evidence that nutrition guidelines focus on increasing dietary fiber and replacing refined grains with whole grains. "This reduces the risk of incidence and mortality from a wide range of important diseases," said co-author Jim Mann in a statement.
In addition, the team said that the consumption of large amounts of fiber is also related to lower weight and cholesterol levels.
"The health benefits of fiber are backed by more than 100 years of research into its chemistry, physical properties, physiology and metabolic effects," Mann added. "Fiber-rich whole foods that require chewing and retain much of their structure in the intestine increase the feeling of fullness and help control weight and can favorably influence lipid and glucose levels. The breakdown of fiber in the large intestine by resident bacteria has additional powerful effects, including protection against colorectal cancer. "
The scientists said that adults should consume 25 to 29 grams or more of dietary fiber daily to obtain the health benefits of carbohydrates. Foods rich in fiber include whole grains, vegetables, fruits and legumes, such as peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas.
Analysts said it is possible to have too much fiber, especially for those with insufficient iron or minerals, as it can further reduce the amount of iron in the body.
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