Living long, yes, of course, but also living healthy. Science is focusing its attention on the role played by diet in determining the health conditions of the body. In particular, the scientists are trying to understand to what extent the diet may help prevent illnesses and, above all, which food should be preferred. Very interesting is the article published a few months ago on the prestigious journal Lancet by a team of scientists from New Zeeland (Reynolds et al, Lancet, feb 2019).
The researchers have analyzed more than 200 previous studies for a total amount of 4635 persons. They observed that a diet characterized by a high intake of dietary fiber may reduce by up 30% the cardiovascular diseases, heart strokes but also type 2 diabetes and cancers of colon and breast. Moreover, the same diet helps also reduce blood pressure, body weight and cholesterol. The best results in terms of prevention have been observed with a fiber intake between 25 and 29 grams. Similar results have been observed with diets that replace refined carbs with whole grain cereals.
For this reason, as suggested by the study, a good choice is to increase the amount of dietary fiber intake and to prefer unrefined grains in order to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular illnesses but also to keep at bay body weight, cholesterol and blood sugar.