Opting for a fibre-rich diet is particularly advised for people suffering from constipation. We have always known that. But did you know that a fibre-rich diet helps you age better too? A study by Sydney’s The Westmead Institute for Medical Research reports that eating the right amount of fibre from breads, cereals and fruits can help us avoid disease and disability into old age.
Using data compiled from the Blue Mountains Eye Study, a benchmark population-based study that examined a cohort of more than 1,600 adults aged 50 years and older for long-term sensory loss risk factors and systemic diseases, the researchers explored the relationship between carbohydrate nutrition and healthy ageing.
They found that out of all the factors they examined, which included a person’s total carbohydrate intake, total fibre intake, glycemic index, glycemic load and sugar intake, it was the fibre that made the biggest difference to what the researchers termed “successful ageing”.
Successful ageing was defined as including an absence of disability, depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms and chronic diseases including cancer, coronary artery disease and stroke.
According to lead author Bamini Gopinath, the study is the first to look at the relationship between carbohydrate intake and healthy ageing, and the results were significant enough to warrant further investigation.
Gopinath noted that those who had the highest intake of fibre or total fibre actually had an almost 80 percent greater likelihood of living a long and healthy life over a 10-year follow-up. That is, they were less likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, dementia, depression and functional disability.
The study is published in The Journals of Gerontology.