Recently, I came across a great article in the Lancet from January 10, 2019. It is titled “Carbohydrate quality and human health: a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyses”. It speaks to the basic question of “How much fiber should I eat”?
In summary, they report that the risk reduction associated with a range of critical outcomes was greatest when daily intake of dietary fiber was between 25 g and 29 g. Further, dose response curves suggested that higher intakes of dietary fiber could could confer even greater benefit to protect against cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, and colorectal and breast cancer. The data they report are striking. They suggest a 15 to 30% decrease in all cause and cardiovascular related mortality, and incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke incidence and mortality, type two diabetes, and colorectal cancer when they compared the highest dietary fiber with the lowest consumers.
This is a striking example of “food as medicine”. There are a multitude of reasons why increased fiber improves health markers. They have been shown to improve the gut flora. This assist greatly with digestion and metabolism. Insoluble fibers further provide a protective mesh that blocks some absorption of harmful toxins. Increased fiber further decreases transit time through our intestines and improves bowel movements. Chances are, 25 to 29 g of fiber is more than your current daily intake. Gradually work up to this and maintain this level of fiber daily and there is a good chance it will improve your health