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Dietary Fiber – Adding Years to Life

Tuesday, March 08, 2011
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The results of the study found out that, dietary fiber intake lowered the risk of total death in both men and women. It also reduced the risk of death from CVD, infections, respiratory disorders by 24% in men and by 34% to 59% in women. Dr Park has postulated the possibility of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties of whole grains which might plausibly reduce the severity of a number of different medical illnesses.

A study conducted by The Cancer Research Center of Hawaii, Honolulu, compared the dietary habits of different ethnic groups found that, native Hawaiians had the highest and Asian Americans had the lowest prevalence of obesity. A higher fat and protein consumption was associated with a higher BMI and a high dietary fiber intake on the other hand was inversely linked with excess weight.

In general if we compare the dietary habits of different nations we can analyze why the incidence or prevalence of lifestyle diseases is more in some countries compared to others. The Asian diet in general consists of cereals mostly whole grains, vegetables, fruits and fish. Therefore the percentage of obesity in Japan is much lower than in Europe and USA.

The American Dietetic Association (ADA) and the latest 2010 dietary guidelines recommend that healthy adults should consume about 25-30 g of fiber per day with the best sources being fruits, vegetables, whole grain products and legumes. Simple, easy and helpful tips include trying whole wheat pasta instead of regular pasta and using brown rice rather than white rice.

By, Sangeetha Narayana Swamy
Senior Dietitian, Nutritionvista.com

References:

 

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User Comments

22 September, 2011 | Prakruthi | Reply

Prakruthi Adequate fibre in your diet can go a long way towards improving digestive health, preventing heart disease, colon cancer and diabetes. In fact we can refer to fiber as the body’s internal broom, for as it passes through the digestive tract, it acts like a sponge, cleansing the waste matter and preventing constipation. This process helps prevent bowel related disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis and hemorrhoids, which can occur from the increased pressure created by hard stools.

01 April, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar I can quite believe the theory that people are beginning to have poor dentition as a result of eating highly refined foods and using their teeth so sparingly.
Increasing complex foods, high fiber foods, whole fresh fruits & vegetables as it was meant to be traditionally, can positively reverse the trend apart from the health benefits already mentioned above.

14 March, 2011 | Gaurav Sinha | Reply

Gaurav Sinha Hello,

I am 34 yrs old and my BMI is 22.3, I eat about 3-4 fruits per week and 1-2 vegetables a day. If a person has to consume about 30 gms of fiber per day, what is the amount of veggies, fruits and whole grains he has to include in a day meal. Please advise.

16 March, 2011 | Parul Bhatnagar | Reply

Parul Bhatnagar Dear Mr.Gaurav
A healthy diet with full of whole grain cereals like oats, wheat,bajra, barley, wheat bran , fruits , vegetables (specially in form of salads) ,pulses and legumes if consumed every day , will add good amount of fiber in your diet

15 March, 2011 | Poonam | Reply

Poonam Dear Mr Sinha,
If you eat a balanced diet which includes 5-7 servings of fresh vegetables and fruits(not juice),mostly whole grain cereals everyday, and beans at least 2/3 times a week, you will be able to meet your requirements of fiber.

15 March, 2011 | Vijayalakshmi Iyengar | Reply

Vijayalakshmi Iyengar Dear Mr Gaurav Sinha,
A balanced meal (which is planned based on dietary guidelines) is to ensure that the required amount of every nutrient will be furnished. We as dietitians look into each and everybody's requirement individually - physiological, to compensate for the persons activity, cultural variations etc and customize diets for the said individual. So if you register with us you will benefit from the same.
In any case if you click on this url, you will get a good idea of how much of each food you should consume daily.
http://www.nutritionvista.com/NutritionBuzz/usda-s-revised-dietary-guidelines-2010-at-a-glance-by-serving-sizes,340.aspx
Vijayalakshmi Iyengar
Sr Dietitian, NutritionVista.com

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