Does fiber Help You Live Longer?
Foods high in fiber may help people lose weight, live longer, large study finds

Research studies found that eating more high-fiber foods is linked to a healthier, longer life. Read on for details.

The Best Type Of Food For Weight Loss, Lower Blood Sugar And Cholesterol

According to Lancet Medical Journal, people who eat more minimally processed fiber foods also weigh less, have lower blood sugar, and lower cholesterol.

This study found that fiber alone is an important factor, whether from vegetables, fruit, beans, or whole grains.

Whereas most carbohydrates can be broken down into sugar molecules, dietary fiber cannot be converted into sugar molecules. In other words, dietary fibers are indigestible types of carbohydrates and pass through your body undigested. So, fiber helps the body keep blood sugar in control and keeps you feel full for longer.

Let’s understand how dietary fiber helps you live a longer, healthier life:

Dietary fiber is mainly of two types, and both are beneficial to health but in different ways:

(i) Soluble fiber:  It dissolves in water and helps reduce both glucose levels and blood cholesterol. Some examples of foods with soluble fiber are oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, apples, and blueberries.

(ii) Insoluble fiber:  It doesn’t dissolve in water, helps the food pass through your digestive system, and prevents constipation. Examples of foods with insoluble fibers are wheat bran, whole wheat bread, whole grain couscous, brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

In addition, fiber helps lose weight and seems to lower the risk of developing many medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and diverticular disease.

That’s why the experts say that higher fiber intake enhances life expectancy. But processed foods don’t provide these health benefits.

The study found prediabetic adults who ate fiber-rich foods were losing weight and had lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels

In another study, it was shown that not all fiber-rich foods are equal.

For instance, though whole grains are rich in fiber, their beneficial health effects weaken with processing.

For two weeks, the participants were asked to consume unprocessed or less-processed wholegrain foods such as intact oats, brown rice, and whole-grain bread made with coarsely ground flour.

They were given more processed wholegrain foods such as instant oats and whole-grain bread made with finely milled flour in the subsequent fortnight.

The study found:

The participants who were consuming minimally-processed wholegrain foods showed that after eating their meals, they had much-lowered blood sugar levels, and during the day, they had fewer swings in blood glucose levels.

During the study period, the participants were asked to maintain their weight, but it was found they lost a little weight in the first two weeks of eating less processed whole grains and put on a little weight in the second two weeks of eating processed whole grain foods.

One study found that eating 35 grams of less processed fiber in a day will lower the chances of early death by thirty-five percent than those who consume only 19 grams of fiber per day.

Whereas wholegrain foods are beneficial, increasingly, products available on supermarket shelves are generally processed.

Some people find it hard to get 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Beans & pulses are a short-cut. While one cup of black beans offers fifteen grams of fiber, one cup of green peas provides nine grams.

Coming to fruits, while one apple with skin offers about 4.5 grams of fiber, one orange or banana has three grams.

One cup of broccoli provides five grams when it comes to vegetables, while one baked potato has four grams.

The Best Type Of Food For Weight Loss, Lower Blood Sugar And Cholesterol

Whereas most carbohydrates can be broken down into sugar molecules, dietary fiber cannot be converted into sugar molecules. In other words, dietary fibers are indigestible types of carbohydrates and pass through your body undigested. So, fiber helps the body keep blood sugar in control and keeps you feel full for longer.

Let’s understand how dietary fiber helps you live a longer, healthier life:

Dietary fiber is mainly of two types, and both are beneficial to health but in different ways:

(i) Soluble fiber:  It dissolves in water and helps reduce both glucose levels and blood cholesterol. Some examples of foods with soluble fiber are oatmeal, nuts, beans, lentils, apples, and blueberries.

(ii) Insoluble fiber:  It doesn’t dissolve in water, helps the food pass through your digestive system, and prevents constipation. Examples of foods with insoluble fibers are wheat bran, whole wheat bread, whole grain couscous, brown rice, legumes, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

In addition, fiber helps lose weight and seems to lower the risk of developing many medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and diverticular disease.

That’s why the experts say that higher fiber intake enhances life expectancy. But processed foods don’t provide these health benefits.

The study found prediabetic adults who ate fiber-rich foods were losing weight and had lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels

In another study, it was shown that not all fiber-rich foods are equal.

For instance, though whole grains are rich in fiber, their beneficial health effects weaken with processing.

For two weeks, the participants were asked to consume unprocessed or less-processed wholegrain foods such as intact oats, brown rice, and whole-grain bread made with coarsely ground flour.

In the subsequent fortnight, they were given more processed wholegrain foods such as instant oats and whole-grain bread made with finely milled flour .

The study found:

The participants who were consuming minimally-processed wholegrain foods showed that after eating their meals, they had much-lowered blood sugar levels, and during the day, they had fewer swings in blood glucose levels.

During the study period, the participants were asked to maintain their weight, but it was found they lost a little weight in the first two weeks of eating less processed whole grains and put on a little weight in the second two weeks of eating processed whole grain foods.

One study found that eating 35 grams of less processed fiber in a day will lower the chances of early death by thirty-five percent than those who consume only 19 grams of fiber per day.

Whereas wholegrain foods are beneficial, increasingly, products available on supermarket shelves are generally overly processed.

[Related: Fiber Tips & How To Increase Your Fiber Intake]

Take Away: Research studies found that eating more high-fiber foods is linked to a healthier, longer life. However, it has to come from unprocessed foods.

About Author: Renu Bakshi, AKA Fitness Buffhq, is ISSA Certified Elite Trainer. He passed Fitness Buffhq - Renu bakshiPersonal Fitness Trainer Course, Nutrition Health Coach course & Specialist Exercise Therapy course from ISSA, USA obtaining + 97% marks. He shares his experience and knowledge about nutrition and effective workouts to get you in the best shape of your life, no matter how old you may be. The author says: “For me, age is just a number!”

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