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People who have a high-fiber diet are less likely to die from chronic diseases, according to a recent study.
Researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand analyzed the benefits of high-fiber food, such as fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes, and bread and grains. The researchers noted that people who consumed high-fiber food had a 15% to 30% decreased risk of premature death and contraction of chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases.
One of the researchers said that eating high-fiber food helps control weight or obesity, which has been tied to cancer and heart diseases. High-fiber food needs to be chewed longer and makes the stomach feel full. Hence, when people eat high-fiber food, their urge to eat more disappears.
High-fiber food also benefits the intestines, minimizing the risk of getting colon cancer. It has a positive impact on gut bacteria and helps cleanse the colon.
To gain the benefits of fiber, the researchers recommended eating 25 to 29 grams or more daily. That is at least five grams of fiber more than what people normally consume per day. However, the researchers advised people with iron deficiency against consuming more than the recommended amount as some fiber-rich food can drain iron.
The researchers said that the findings could help people answer questions about what to include in their meals and how meal choices affect their health. The findings could also help the World Health Organization Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group, who commissioned the study, determine the recommended fiber intake.