Eating fibre-rich food has always been associated with several health benefits – from improving gut-health to weight loss. Adding on to the list, two recent studies from the University of Otago researchers have stated that consumption of more fibre-rich food can be linked to increased life expectancy among the people suffering from diabetes. The studies also stated that food processing may remove the benefits from those fibre-rich foods. These studies become more significant in the present time because cases of diabetes, especially Type 2, have increased worldwide and can lead to further health-related complications, according to an article in ANI.
The first study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, found that higher fibre intake significantly reduced premature mortality as compared to those eating less amount of fibre. The study used data collected from 8,300 adults with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Hence, lead author of the study Dr Andrew Reynolds, National Heart Foundation Fellow of the Department of Medicine, advised people across the globe to increase consumption of grains, legumes, vegetables and whole fruits in their daily diet. “Try a few different ways to increase your fibre intake, see what works best for you. If you eat white refined bread or rolls, try changing to wholegrain bread or rolls. Try brown rice, try brown pasta, try adding half a tin of legumes to meals you already make,” added Dr Reynolds.
The second study, published in journal Diabetes Care, stated that not all the fibre-rich foods are created equal. It found that though whole grains are important source of fibre, their benefits may get diluted when heavily processed. The results of the study showed that there were improvements in blood glucose levels of the participants after consumption of minimally processed whole grains.
As per senior author of the study Prof Jim Mann, from the Department of Medicine and Director of the Healthier Lives National Science Challenge, “Wholegrain foods are now widely perceived to be beneficial, but increasingly products available on the supermarket shelves are ultra-processed.”
Adding to this Dr. Reynolds stated, “We are now beginning to understand that how foods are processed is also important, and for whole grains when you finely mill them you can remove their benefits.”