Latest Research: Eat More Fibre to Age Well

If you want to live a long and healthy life then don’t cut carbs, just choose the right ones.  That’s the message from a new Australian study.

Researchers from the Westmead Institute for Medical Research and the University of Sydney studied more than 1,600 adults aged 49 years and older who were free of cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke when the study began.   They collected details of their usual food intake and followed them for 10 years to look at the development of disease and disability as they aged.  Successful aging was defined as the absence of disability, depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms, and chronic diseases (e.g., cancer and coronary artery disease).

Compared to those with the lowest intakes, those who had the highest intakes of fibre were 1.8 times more likely to age successfully.   On the other hand, those with the lowest fibre intakes from breads & cereals, and fruit, were less likely to age successfully.

“These findings suggest that increasing intake of fibre-rich foods could be a successful strategy in reaching old age disease free and fully functional”, the researchers conclude.

These findings are consistent with the results of combined analysis of research studies into wholegrain intake and mortality, published last month.   The study found that higher intakes of wholegrains were linked with lower overall mortality and lower mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Gopinath et al (2016). Association Between Carbohydrate Nutrition and Successful Aging Over 10 Years. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci (2016) doi: 10.1093/gerona/glw091

Chen et al (2016). Whole-grain intake and total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. First published May 25, 2016, doi: 10.3945/​ajcn.115.122432

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