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Why It’s Important to Have a High-Fiber Diet

Eating a high-fiber diet lowers the risk of death and chronic diseases, including cancer and strokes, according to a new meta-analysis. A high-fiber diet also reduces total cholesterol and body weight, improving overall health. The meta-analysis determined that dietary fiber provides more health benefits than previously believed. Those who want to live long, healthy lives can get on the right track by adding more fiber to their diets.

About the Meta-analysis

Researchers poured over more than 180 studies and 50 clinical trials to determine the health benefits of fiber. The analysis showed that those who eat the most fiber have a 15-30% less chance of chronic disease and early death when compared to those who have a low-fiber intake. Those who have high-fiber diets also reduce the risk of stroke by 22% and the risk of type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer by 16%. The risk of dying from coronary heart disease drops by 30%.

How Much Fiber Is Needed?

People eat an average of 20 grams of fiber a day, but researchers recommend eating 25-29 grams. High-fiber foods include:

  • Lentils
  • Lima beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Pigeon peas
  • Wheat Bran
  • Pears
  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Parsnips
  • Green peas

How to Increase Fiber in a Diet

Increasing fiber in a diet is actually quite easy. Eat a minimum of two cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables each day. Also, replace white bread with whole grains and eat brown rice instead of white rice. In addition, eat a ½ cup of cooked beans with dinner and add ¼ cup of wheat bran to foods to boost fiber intake.

Is Fiber Enough?

The meta-analysis only included healthy individuals. Researchers noted the importance of living a healthy lifestyle to enjoy all the benefits that fiber offers. Along with eating a balanced diet that is rich in fiber, people need to avoid smoking, only drink alcohol in moderation, get regular exercise, and get enough sleep. Combining a healthy lifestyle with high-fiber intake can help people live long, healthy lives.

Can People Have Too Much Fiber?

Researchers did not find any side effects for healthy people who eat large amounts of fiber. However, those who have an iron deficiency need to understand that high amounts of whole grains can reduce iron levels.

There are foods that increase iron levels, though. Fruits and some vegetables increase iron absorption. People can also take an iron supplement if they are low in iron.

Those who have iron deficiencies should speak to their doctors before going on a high-fiber diet. The doctor will help them create a meal plan that ensures they absorb enough iron.

Stay Healthy Year Round

Adding fiber is one way to improve one’s health. Going to the doctor regularly is another way. Medical insurance is necessary to pay for doctor’s visits. Those who are eligible for Medicare can compare policies online to find the coverage they need. People can also call 844-374-1950 to speak to an insurance agent.