Fiber-rich foods not only keep you regular, they may help extend the healthy years, according to a study from the University of Syndey’s Westmead Institute for Medical Research. Dietary intakes on 1,609 people, 49-years-old and older, who were free of cancer, heart disease, and stroke at the beginning of the study were compared to successful aging during the subsequent 10 years. Results showed that 15.5% of the people had aged well with no disability, depression, cognitive impairment, respiratory problems, or chronic disease. While glycemic load was not associated with healthy aging, the amount of fiber-rich foods consumed was. Those people who consumed the most fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains were 80% more likely to remain fully functional and disease-free as they aged. In contrast, people who ate little or no fiber-rich foods were least likely to have aged well.
In Perspective: It is important to note that it was naturally occurring fiber-rich foods, not processed foods with fiber added that showed the benefits in this study. And, it appeared to be a combination of soluble and insoluble fiber-rich foods that provided the best benefits.
Gopinath B, Flood V, Kifley A, et al: Association between carbohydrate nutrition and successful aging over 10 years. Journal of Gerontology 2016;June 1st.