Dietary Fiber and Successful Aging

Dietary Fibers - Vegetables

Thank goodness we are getting older. Know what I mean? Could dietary fiber really be the key to successful aging? A new study revealed findings that followed older adults for a period of 10 years that supports the idea that eating a diet rich in fiber, as what you find in bread, cereals, and fruits, is the key to aging successfully. Of course, that applies only if you reach old age free of disease and disability. Hum…

The researchers at the Westmead Institute in New South Wales, Australia has published their study in The Journal of Gerontology. Bamini Gopinath, an associate professor in the institute’s Centre for Vision Research and the lead author, says the study is the first to look at the link between the intake of carbohydrates and successful aging.

What Is Dietary Fiber?

Fiber intake had the strongest influence of all the variables that they looked at.

Dietary fiber is an indigestible substance that is found in plants like fruits, vegetables, and grains which are an important part of a healthy diet, and is in two forms: soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel, then slows digestion where evidence shows it lowers cholesterol and helps prevent heart disease. This fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, peas, lentils and some fruit and vegetables.

Insoluble fiber appears to speed up the passage of food through the gut and adds bulk to the stool and is found in wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. The professor and colleagues define successful aging as reaching old age disease-free and fully functional.

Fiber May Give 80% Greater likelihood Of Living Longer

Data was used from the Blue Mountain Eye Study (BME) to assess visual impairment and common eye diseases in a representative older Australian community. Of the total of 1,609 adults aged 49 and older who were free of cancer, coronary artery disease and stroke were followed for 10 years. At the end of 10 years, 249 or 15.5% of participants achieved what the researchers defined as successful aging status. Total carbohydrate intake, total fiber intake, glycemic index, glycemic load and sugar intake was examined. Fiber had the biggest impact on successful aging.

Those that had the highest intake of fiber or total fiber actually had an almost 80% greater likelihood of living a long and healthy life from hypertension, diabetes, dementia, depression and functional disability. Those who remained consistently below the mid-range of consumption of fiber, compared with the rest of the group, were less likely to age successfully. This suggests that increasing intake of fiber-rich foods could be a successful strategy in reaching that old age, disease-free and fully functional. This was a bit of a surprise to find this strong effect from fiber. Alter your diet to include these foods that are rich in fiber and work towards a longer, more successful and healthy life.

Img c/o Pixabay.