Grandma called it “roughage,” but today it’s called fiber and it could be the magic bullet against diabetes, according to a study from Imperial College London. In their investigation of more than 29,000 Europeans tracked for 11 years, the researchers found that those people with the highest fiber intakes (26 grams a day or more) were 18% less likely to develop diabetes compared to people who consumed less than 19 grams a day. Fiber from whole grains and vegetables was most protective, while fruit fiber showed no benefits. Body weight was the deciding factor, since fiber’s influence disappeared when BMI was factored into the equation. This suggests that it is fiber’s ability to satisfy hunger on fewer calories, thus leading to a healthy weight, that is the reason it keeps diabetes at bay.
The InterAct Consortium: Dietary fibre and incidence of type 2 diabetes in eight European countries. Diabetologia 2015; May 26th.