Fiber Intake Linked to Healthy Aging

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healthy aging

Shoppers may take fiber to keep them “regular,” but there may a new reason to fill up on fiber: successful aging, according to new research from The Journal of Gerontology.

Researchers from the University of Sydney selected 1,609 healthy adults (ages 49 and older) for their study and followed them for a decade. All participants were free of cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke at the start of the study. Throughout the study, participants completed food frequency questionnaires and their “success aging status” was evaluated by an investigator. They took into account factors like disabilities, depression, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms and chronic diseases.

The Results: Fiber and Aging

After 10 years, the researchers determined that about 15.5% of the group had “aged successfully.” Dietary glycemic index and glycemic load as well as intake of carbohydrate, sugars and fiber were all considered, but higher fiber intake was most likely to be associated with the “successful aging category.” Meanwhile, researchers found  those who consistently consumed the least fiber were less likely to age successfully.

The investigators state, “These findings suggest that increasing intake of fiber-rich foods could be a successful strategy in reaching old age disease free and fully functional.”

Published in WholeFoods Magazine Online (6/13/16)