We all know that fiber is great for the digestive system. The two go together like horse and carriage or peanut butter and chocolate. However, a new study out of Australia that was published in the The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences (the longest name ever) found that a diet high in dietary fiber may be the key to aging gracefully.
Researchers looked at data gathered in a large cohort study that examined 1,600+ people who were over the age of fifty to see if they could find a connection between sensory loss, systemic disease, healthy aging and carbohydrate nutrition. They investigated several key factors of nutrition: fiber intake, glycemic index and load and sugar intake. They found that of all the nutritional factors, fiber intake seemed to be the greatest for predicting healthy aging, i.e, the absence of disability, depression, cognitive impairment, chronic disease, coronary heart disease and stroke.
Those with the highest fiber intakes were nearly 80% more likely of living longer and healthier during the ten-year span of the study. They were also less likely to experience dementia, depression, disability and high blood pressure. The mechanism for these apparent benefits is unknown, but researchers believe these findings warrant further study.
Researchers admitted that they were surprised that sugar didn’t have a larger impact on aging but noted that their test group of older adults may have skewed slightly outside the norm because the subjects weren’t big on soda pop.
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