Originally published January 26 2015
Consume more fiber and slash your mortality risk by 16 percent
by PF Louis
(NaturalNews) You've probably heard it or read it before: The importance of including high fiber foods in our diet. Most probably consider this is good for being "regular" with bowel movements, nothing more than that.
But according to a recent epidemiological meta-analysis, it can be a matter of longer life or premature death, as people who ate the most fiber were less likely to die of any disease cause.
In 2014 the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China pooled together data from 17 previous studies that had tracked 982,411 men and women from mostly Europe and the USA and recorded 67,000 deaths.
According to the research headed by Yang Yang at the China Cancer Institute, those in the top 20 percent of fiber consumption were 16 percent less likely to die from any disease cause.
Yang's team divided the data pool of almost one million men and women into five sections to derive that 19 percent less disease kill rate among the top 20 percent or one-fifth.
They also observed there was a 10 percent decrease in death by any disease for every 10 percent increase of daily fiber intake in eight of the 17 studies used in their meta-analysis.
Their finding, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology online December 31, 2014, supports fiber's established potential to lower the risk of chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, diabetes and colorectal and other cancers.
Commentaries from nutritionists not involved with this studyVictoria Burley, a nutrition researcher at the University of Leeds in the UK, announced that the Yang study results are "very much in line with earlier published meta-analyses of the relationship between dietary fiber and risk of major chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, and cancers."
"It's not difficult to consume an extra 10 grams of fiber per day, Burley mentioned. "This can come from two servings of whole grain foods, such as breakfast cereal and two servings of fruit or vegetables, for example."
"High-fiber foods may also make people feel full sooner, and for longer, which helps curb overeating and weight gain," Burley added. "Some or all of these factors may underlie the reduction in mortality observed here."
Americans consume well below the Cancer Institute's recommended 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day. Natural News contributing author John Phillip, a Certified Nutritional Consultant, advises 30 to 50 grams of fiber daily.
Phillip also reported a Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center study showing that a diet rich in slowly digested carbohydrates, such as leafy green vegetables, legumes and other high-fiber foods, significantly reduces markers of inflammation associated with the onset of almost all chronic diseases.
The work, reported in The Journal of Nutrition, explains that a diet rich in high-fiber foods significantly improves insulin signaling and resistance that promote life-shortening diseases including cancer, cardiovascular, stroke and dementia.
Jessica Shapiro, a wellness dietitian at Montefiore Medicine Center in New York, encourages reading labels to choose foods with at least three grams of fiber per serving to ensure eating a variety of foods that are high in fiber, including legumes, beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, vegetables, and fresh whole fruits.
Note: All beans are legumes, but not all legumes are beans. Legumes include peanuts, peas, and lentils. Beans include black beans, chickpeas or garbanzo beans, pinto beans, Lima beans and navy beans.
It's advisable to purchase lentils and all beans dry-bulk instead of precooked in cans, then cook them the old fashioned way, in water on the stove. Dry lentils don't have to be soaked in water overnight, but dry beans do before they're cooked.
Combining lentils or your favorite beans with brown rice renders a meal with lots of fiber and complete predigested protein as amino acids.
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