Benefits of Daily Fiber
Studies have shown that eating more fiber each day may help you live longer. Daily fiber has been linked to all sorts of unexpected benefits, including a lower risk of diabetes and a lower risk of colon cancer.
Professionally Reviewed by Charles Li, MD
1. Eating Fiber Each Day = Longer Life
Studies have shown that eating more fiber each day may help you live longer. Those who eat more fiber have a lower risk of death.
2. Where to get fiber
Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are great sources of your daily fiber. Legumes such as peas and lentils are the best sources of all.
3. Benefits of Fiber
Daily fiber has been linked to all sorts of unexpected benefits, including a lower risk of diabetes and a lower risk of colon cancer.

Why Fiber Matters

Daily Fiber & Mortality
The more fiber you eat each day, the longer you live. 

Dietary fiber is one of the most important parts of your diet. Even though it doesn't interact with most of your body, diets rich in fiber correlate with a significant reduction in your risk of death.

One study, shown below, found that those who ate the most fiber each day had a nearly 20% lower risk of death compared to those who did not eat fiber.

Dietary Fiber and Overall Mortality. Individuals who ate dietary fiber of any substantial amount had a significantly lower risk of overall mortality than individuals who did not eat any fiber. Individuals who ate more than 30 grams a day had an approximately 15% lower risk of overall mortality.. The colored line represents estimated mortality risk. The area around the line represents the margin error for this risk. The data was generated based off of a meta-analysis of 135 million person-years of data from 243 studies.

How Much Fiber Per Day?

Daily Recommended Intake
The amount of fiber that doctors recommend you eat each day varies depending on your age and your gender.

In general, men should aim to eat more fiber than women. Men and women under 50 generally should try to eat more fiber than those over 50.

Source: Institute of Medicine, Mayo Clinic.

Where to get fiber?

Which foods have lots of fiber?
Fortunately, fiber is in lots of healthy foods. It's probably one of the easiest nutrients to find.

Nearly all plants contain a decent amount of fiber. Vegetables, fruits, and whole grains are all great sources of fiber.

We've listed just a few examples below, though it's by no means a comprehensive list.

Fiber and Diabetes

Benefits of Daily Fiber
Did you know that fiber correlates with your risk of getting diabetes?

While most may not connect fiber with blood sugar, a meta-analysis of 185 studies and 58 clinical trials found a strong and significant link between fiber and diabetes risk.

Those who ate the most fiber each day had a nearly 40% lower risk of developing diabetes.

Dietary Fiber and Diabetes. Individuals who ate dietary fiber of any substantial amount had a significantly lower risk of diabetes than those who did not according to a meta-analysis. Individuals who ate more than 20 grams a day had a dramatically lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The colored line represents estimated type 2 diabetes risk. The area around the line represents the margin error for this risk. The data was generated based off of a meta-analysis of 135 million person-years of data from 243 studies.

Data Source

"Dose-response curves suggested that higher intakes of dietary fibre could confer even greater benefit to protect against cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal and breast cancer."

Source: Reynolds et al.

Fiber and Colorectal Cancer

Benefits of Daily Fiber
Fiber appears to have a strong protective effect against colon cancer, and doctors aren't exactly sure why.

Reynolds et al, in their very large meta-analysis, found that those who ate the most fiber each day also had a significantly lower risk of developing colon cancer.

One possible theory that some scientists have proposed is that fiber protects you from carcinogens in your food. Food has lots of cancer-causing molecules that can affect your risk of colon cancer. Eating lots of fiber may help your bowels move these dangerous chemicals out of your body faster.

Dietary Fiber and Colorectal Cancer. Individuals who eat more than 5-10 grams of dietary fiber per day had a significantly lower risk of colorectal cancer than individuals who did not eat any fiber. Individuals who ate 30 grams or more per day had an approximately 20% lower risk of colorectal cancer. The colored line represents estimated colorectal cancer risk. The area around the line represents the margin error for this risk. The data was generated based off of a meta-analysis of 135 million person-years of data from 243 studies.

Top Sources of Fiber

Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are all great sources of fiber.

However, the best natural source of all happens to be legumes. These include beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils.

Some processed foods, such as fiber one, can have an even higher concentration of fiber, though their benefits have not yet been proven.

5 Great Sources of Dietary Fiber. Other than high fiber cereals, which have lots of added dietary fiber, the best sources of fiber include beans and legumes. Peas, Chickpeas, and Lentils all have about 8 grams of fiber per half cup.

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