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New Report: Live Longer – Eat Fiber Rich Diet

February 15, 2011

The week before last I reported on my blood results. My cholesterol and blood sugar are elevated. My doctor said, eat more fiber and exercise. I am on board with that versus taking a statin. I am eating a bowl of granola every morning combined with oats. I eat a small apple everyday and have been doing that for years. I take a full complement of supplements. I eat yogurt daily. I shy away from white bread and have reduced white rice in my diet. Eliminating white foods is highly recommended. I cut out sodas a few years ago and dropped 10 pounds. I drink some juices, lemon water, Pellegrino, and lots of water.

USA Today reports:
The study, appearing in Monday’s Archives of Internal Medicine, included more than 388,000 adults, ages 50 to 71, who participated in a diet and health study conducted by the National Institutes of Health and AARP.

They filled out a questionnaire in 1995 or 1996 about their eating habits. It asked them to estimate how often they ate 124 food items. After nine years, more than 31,000 of the participants had died. National records were used to find out who died and the cause of death.

The researchers took into account other risk factors including weight, education level, smoking and health status and still saw lower risks of death in people who ate more fiber.

“The results suggest that the benefits of dietary fiber go beyond heart health,” said Dr. Frank Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health, who wasn’t involved in the new research but co-authored an editorial in the journal.

The evidence for fiber’s benefits has been strongest in diabetes and heart disease, where it’s thought to improve cholesterol levels, blood pressure, inflammation and blood sugar levels. Fiber’s benefits also may come from its theorized ability to bind to toxins and move them out of the body quicker. High-fiber diets can promote weight loss by making people feel full, which has its own health-promoting effects.

However it works, fiber may offer a prevention benefit against killers like pneumonia and flu, the new study suggests. The cancer benefit may have shown up only in the men because they’re more likely than women to die from cancers related to diet, Park said.

Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables and beans. But fiber from grains was most strongly tied to the lowered risk in the study.

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