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Study Finds Fiber-rich Diets could be the Key to Successful Aging

April 2016

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Released in April 2016, a study entitled Association Between Carbohydrate Nutrition and Successful Aging Over 10 Years of more than 1,600 adults aged 50 years and older revealed that a diet rich in fiber from breads/cereals and fruits could be part of a successful strategy for aging successfully.

A group of researchers from Australia’s Westmead Institute for Medical Research led by Associate Professor Bamini Gopinath, PhD, examined the relationship between dietary Glycemic Index (GI) and Glycemic Load (GL), carbohydrate, sugars, and fiber intake (including fruits, vegetables, breads, and cereals) and “successful aging.”  Successful aging is defined by an absence of long-term sensory loss risk factors and systemic diseases such as depression, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms, and chronic diseases including cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke.

The group of older adults studied were free from cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke at baseline and followed for 10 years. This group was also notable for its low intake of carbonated and sugary drinks. Participants filled out a Food Frequency questionnaire administered by an interviewer at regular intervals. Their conclusion was that the intake of dietary fiber from breads/cereals and fruits/vegetables is part of a good strategy for reaching old age free of disease and able to function fully.

While the researchers note that it is too early to use the study results as a basis for dietary advice, the study has inspired others to take this avenue of exploration. Dr. Gopinath noted that “there are a lot of other large cohort studies that could pursue this further,” and that further work needs to be done on establishing links between variables.

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