Eat more fiber and you just may live longer.
That’s the message from the largest study of its kind to find a link between high-fiber diets and lower risks of death not only from heart disease, but from infectious and respiratory illnesses as well.
The government study also ties fiber with a lower risk of cancer deaths in men, but not women, possibly because men are more likely to die from cancers related to diet, like cancers of the esophagus. And it finds the overall benefit to be strongest for diets high in fiber from grains.
Most Americans aren’t getting enough roughage in their diets. The average American eats only about 15 grams of fiber each day, much less than the current daily recommendation of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men, or 14 grams per 1,000 calories. For example, a slice of whole wheat bread contains 2 to 4 grams of fiber.
In the new study, the people who met the guidelines were less likely to die during a nine-year follow-up period.