Fiber Intake Linked to Successful Aging

Fiber Intake Linked to Successful Aging

There is now evidence of a surprising additional benefit, discovered by the Australian researchers from the Westmead Institute for Medical Research.

It is well known that a diet with adequate fiber assists in keeping people “regular.” Increased dietary fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type-2 diabetes and has been shown to lower blood pressure.

Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath, PhD, from the Institute's Centre for Vision Research compiled data from the Blue Mountains Eye Study, a benchmark population-based study that examined a group of more than 1,600 adults, ages 50 years and older, for systemic diseases and long-term sensory loss risk factors.

The researchers explored the relationship between carbohydrate nutrition and healthy aging. The factors they examined included total carbohydrate intake, total fiber intake, glycemic index and load, and sugar intake.

The fiber made the greatest difference in what the researchers called “successful aging”. They defined “successful aging” as including an absence of disability, cognitive impairment, depressive symptoms, respiratory symptoms, and chronic diseases including cancer coronary artery disease, and stroke.

According to the lead author of the paper, Gopinath, this study is the first to explore the relationship between carbohydrate intake and healthy aging, and the findings were significant enough to warrant further exploration. “Out of all the variables that we looked at, fiber intake -- which is a type of carbohydrate that the body can't digest -- had the strongest influence," she stated. "Essentially, we found that those who had the highest intake of fiber or total fiber actually had an almost 80 percent greater likelihood of living a long and healthy life over a 10-year follow-up. That is, they were less likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, dementia, depression, and functional disability."

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7 Replies

  • Excellent advice.

    If you think that long carton of orange juice is a healthy and easy alternative to peeling a messy orange then you are missing the vital fibre and getting a massive sugar hit.

    Fructose is the poison, fibre the antidote.

    It's unlikely you could eat 5 or 6 oranges in one go - easy to chug down half a litre (or more) of the equivalent.

    Oh, and eat your greens!

  • Is it only orange?Any other fibrous fruit which can be chewed and eaten?

  • No, it's just about any fruits eaten in their natural state.

    However if diabetic I wouldn't advise using this information as a licence to eat sugary fruits like grapes, mangoes, figs for example - they are sugar bombs.

    Stick to berries which are really good to eat in moderation, contain minimal sugar and still have fibre.

  • Navin

    May i know what this "FruitGlycemic LoadServing Size (grams)" is?

  • Any scientific proof for your views? Are there no other foods which are fibrous other than fruits?

  • dear raoji,

    the balanced diet contains fiber -

    almost three forth of it-

    fiber rich.

    fiber is inseparable from a vegetable based diet.

    but too much of soluble fiber can cause gas in stomach-

    is my experience

    when i was experimenting with rajma dal.

    this may not be case with all.

    good luck.

  • Association doesn't mean causal. Shredded Wheat and Weetabix are high in fibre, but they aren't healthy because they spike blood glucose.

    I'm not convinced about concentrating on the GL either. When a food is high Gi, even when it is low GL, the food is absorbed rapidly as glucose. This starts the highs and lows that are problematic. I think that is one reason why the benefits of GL were not found to be so great. Furthermore, the more out of whack a person's carbohydrate metabolism is, the lower the Gi and GL will need to be; a GL of 10 is arbitrary.

    Combining low Gi, low GL and low fructose, with adequate fibre WHEN it is real food will contribute to the diet being healthier.

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