Dietary fibre consumed from fruits, cereals and breads are linked to aging successfully over many years.
The surprising benefits of fibre-rich foods has been underestimated, but Australian researchers reveal that fibre makes a big difference in order to age successfully.
They studied 1,609 adults who were 49 years and older for 10 years to find out the relationship between healthy aging and carbohydrate nutrition.
Total carbohydrate intake, total fiber intake, sugar intake, glycemic load and glycemic index factors were examined.
Fibre had the largest impact on what the researchers called ‘successful aging.’
Successful aging was defined as the absence of:
- cognitive impairment,
- depressive symptoms,
- respiratory symptoms,
- and chronic diseases including coronary artery disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer.
Professor Bamini Gopinath, the study’s lead author, said:
“Out of all the variables that we looked at, fiber intake — which is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest — had the strongest influence.
Essentially, we found that those who had the highest intake of fiber or total fiber 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.”
We might expect that sugar intake would have a big impact on healthy aging, but in this study it was not linked to successful aging.
Professor Gopinath pointed out that the older adults who participated in this study had a low intake of carbonated and sugary drinks in their diet.
About the author
Mina Dean is a Nutritionist and Food Scientist. She holds a BSc in Human Nutrition and an MSc in Food Science.
The study was published in The Journals of Gerontology: Series A (Gopinath et al., 2016).