A high intake of dietary fiber is associated with a wide array of health benefits, including a reduced mortality rate, according to a massive systematic review and meta-analysis in The Lancet in January 2019.
Researchers from New Zealand and Scotland analyzed data from 59 clinical trials and 185 observational studies from around the world and found that people who consumed the most fiber (at least 25 to 30 grams a day) had a 15 to 30 percent lower death rate and incidence of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colorectal cancer than people who ate the least fiber (less than about 15 grams a day). High fiber intake was also linked to lower blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and body weight.
The average American consumes about 15 grams of fiber a day. Similar benefits were seen for higher intakes of whole grains, which are rich in fiber.
This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter.