Fibre is known to have many health benefits. Eating a lot of fibre can reduce the risk of many health problems, by decreasing the risk of stroke, high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer and more. But, not all fibre is created equal, and the source of the fibre may affect the extent of the health benefits. A recent study, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology indicates that certain fibres may offer more protection from health problems.
A group of scientists in South Korea examined nearly a million people worldwide, with regard to their fibre intake. Their findings indicated that a high fibre diet, meaning an average of 27 grams of fibre each day, offered significant protection from major health problems, including a nearly 25% reduction in death from any cause.
However, the findings also showed that fibre from whole grains, such as cereals, offered the most protection. Oats, wheat, barley and millet were most directly connected to a reduced mortality. Fibre from vegetables came in as a close second. Those who consumed most of their fibre from fruits showed the lowest levels of protection, and no change in their risk of death.
Researchers are careful to point out that it is possible that those participating in the study ate more whole grains than fruits, which would affect the results. However, lead researcher, Nicola McKeown, from Tufts University, stated, "other studies have linked higher consumption of cereal fibre to decreased risk of chronic disease."
Whole grains and cereal fibres have also shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and is clearly linked to helping to maintain a healthy level of body fat, particularly abdominal fat.
This does not mean that people should steer clear of fruits, because fruits offer significant health advantages and provide high levels of many vitamins and nutrients, as well as antioxidants. Just be sure to get enough whole grains in your diet each day.