Foods that contain fibre, such as those in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, can offer other health benefits, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. A diet that contains good sources of fibre can also help prevent constipation. These include whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and legumes.
A high-fibre diet seems to reduce the risk of several diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, diverticular diseases, constipation and colorectal cancer. Dietary fibre can also help to reduce serum cholesterol levels, as high cholesterol is considered an important risk factor for heart disease.
High fibre intake has been linked to a lower heart disease risk in several large studies that have followed people for many years. A review of studies in 2017 found that people who eat a high-fat diet have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and less mortality from these diseases. A groundbreaking study of Boston and Harvard universities showed that men who ate a lot of fibre (289 grams of daily fibre) had a 40% lower heart disease risk.
The authors say that fibre has an impact on heart health, including preventing cardiovascular disease and lowering blood pressure. Fibre lowers total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, which is a major risk factor for heart disease.
A healthy diet with insoluble fibre also reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. For people who want to lose weight, a high-fibre diet can help regulate weight loss. Many different studies have highlighted that a high-fibre diet can boost the immune system and overall health, which can improve appearance and feel.
Dietary fibre found in vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains helps to keep defecation regular. People who eat a high-fibre diet have a lower rate of constipation than those who eat a low-fibre diet, and they also have fewer haemorrhoids, diverticulum and colon protrusions.
When you eat high-fibre foods such as beans and whole grains, sugar from these foods is absorbed to help you not raise your blood sugar levels. Due to the synergistic effects of soluble fibres on metabolisable energy, fat-rich and soluble fibres facilitate the proliferation of intestinal bacteria that in turn ferment short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the diet thereby increasing SCFA consumption and energy consumption.
The best way to get fibre into your diet is through fibre-rich foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts – but if this proves difficult, a fibre supplement such as Kfibre can help compensate for the deficiency. While sources of fibre in real foods are preferred, the over-the-counter dietary fibre supplements in powder form can be useful for people who have difficulty obtaining enough fibre into their diet. Try making whole grains an integral part of your diet for refined and processed foods with low fibre content.
Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who ate fibre-rich grains and whole grains had a 19 to 17 per cent reduced risk of death from all causes, compared to those who ate less fibre-rich diets.
Studies have shown that fibre-rich foods have other health benefits for the heart, such as lowering blood pressure and inflammation. Studies have also shown that a high-fibre diet can help reduce stomach acid, which may reduce the risk of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and ulcers.
A diet rich in fibre has also been linked to a lower risk of other common digestive disorders such as stomach, mouth and throat. Women who consume high-fibre foods such as vegetables and fruit in adolescence and young adulthood have a lower risk of breast cancer than those who consume less fibre in their younger years. A low- and high-fibre diet that causes a sudden rise in blood sugar levels can increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
An important addition to our knowledge in this field is the need for soluble fibre such as Kfibre, which can be obtained from a general intake of fibre. It is important to investigate how much and what kinds of fibre affect glucose metabolism in diagnosing diabetics, pre-diabetics and other risk groups based on the observed beneficial effects of fibre on glucose metabolism in healthy people. If your child eats at least 5 servings of fruits, vegetables and other good sources of fibre, there is no need to count fibre in grams.