You can derive more health benefits by sticking to a high fiber diet than choosing those diets that involve of a lot of changes in eating routines, a new clinical trial concludes.
By just adding more fiber to their daily diet, people were able to lower their weight, reduce blood pressure and brought blood sugar levels down, all of which help prevents diabetes and improve general health conditions.
The results may not measure up compared to when following a more complex lifestyle diet recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA).However the authors explained, the simple approach will make it easier for people who want to lose weight but are discouraged by the complicated guidelines.
“For people who find it difficult to follow complex dietary recommendations, a simple-to-follow diet with just one message — increase your fiber intake — may be the way to go,” said study author Dr. Yunsheng Ma, an associate professor in the division of preventive and behavioral medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.
The U.S. National Institutes of Health financed a study which include 240 adults who were in danger of developing type 2 diabetes. They were asked by the research team to change their diet for a year.
Fifty percent of the volunteers were asked to increase their fiber consumption to a minimum of 30 grams daily. The fibers should be eaten from foods and not from supplements. This means more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in their diet aside from whatever foods they want to eat.
“High-fiber foods are rich in vitamins and other essential nutrients, so they provide many benefits” over fiber supplements, Ma said.
The other fifty percent were instructed to follow the AHA recommended diet guidelines, which contain 13 components, researchers said. These also include more fruits and vegetables but a reduced in sugar and salt consumption. Eating lean protein sources, reducing on alcohol intake and following a strict balanced intake on protein, fats and carbohydrates.
Researchers believe that since the high-fiber diet is easier to follow, people will stay with it making it more effective.
The final outcome was, 12 of the 121 high-fiber dieters dropped out during the course of the study, compared with 15 of the 119 AHA dieters.