Dietary Fiber and the Risk of Dying

Dietary fiber comes in the indigestible parts of plants. These pass through the human digestive system unchanged. Fiber has beneficial effects on our health by reducing the risk of heart disease, some cancers, and diabetes.

A new study provides evidence that the overall impact of fiber brings a reduced mortality rate. The less fiber you eat the more likely you are to die.

This fiber analysis was performed on the NIH (National Institutes of Health)-AARP Diet and Health Study that included 388,122 adults over the age of 50. In the 9 years of follow-up, there were 31,456 deaths. People who consumed the most fiber were 22 percent less likely to die than those who ate the least amount of fiber.

Yet, in this study those who ate the most fiber only averaged 26 grams a day for both men and women. Current Dietary Guidelines recommend that women consume at least 25 daily grams of fiber and that men consume at least 38 grams a day. However, the average American Diet only contains a mere 15 grams of fiber a day.

The lesson? Eat more high fiber foods and live longer.