"This study is essential as there is increased public confusion over what to base our meal choices on, and the impact our dietary choices have on our risk of certain diseases", said study co-author Jim Mann, a professor at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
When it came to whole grains, the researchers found that for every 15g increase consumed per day, there was a 2-19% decrease in the incidence and total deaths from coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer.
This news about the importance of fiber in the diet isn't new but it is the largest study confirming the necessity of fiber in the diet for good health and longer life.
Adults were already recommended to aim for about 30 grams of fiber per day, and for children to have about 20 grams.
So, how does one increase fiber in the diet? Similar findings were shown with increasing whole-grain intakes. Black beans and lentils have 15 grams of fiber in just one cup.
They also noted that their study looked mainly at foods rich in naturally occurring fibre, rather than synthetic fibre, such as powders, that can be added to foods.
An apple with its skin on has about 4.5 grams, so if you sliced it and ate it with a half cup of hummus you would easily add nearly 12+ grams of fiber to your diet. Not many, however, know that pop corn is also a possible source of fiber, with 14.5 grams of fiber for every 100 grams of popped popcorn. Several studies have shown in the past that vegetables are important in fiber and roughage content and conducive to eliminating waste from the body in a timely healthy manner.
"Fiber and whole grains are important physiologically, metabolically, and even to gut microbiome", explained Andrew Reynolds, lead author of the paper.
Dietary fiber is considered the best carbohydrate, with significant health benefits - foods high in fiber recommended to curb hunger, maintain blood sugar and reduce risk of serious disease.