Dietary fibre cuts risks of hypertension, diabetes: study

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New Delhi– Indian researchers have found that patients with hypertension and Type 2 diabetes who consumed a high fibre diet witnessed an improvement in their blood pressure, cholesterol and fasting glucose.

For the study, the research team from Care Well Heart and Super Specialty Hospital in Amritsar, investigated the relationship between a high fibre diet and its impact on cardiovascular disease risk factors.

“Comprehensive evaluation of etiological effects of dietary factors on cardiometabolic outcomes, their quantitative effects and corresponding optimal intakes are well-established,” said the study’s lead author Rohit Kapoor.

According to guidelines from the National Institute of Nutrition and the Indian Council of Medical Research, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for dietary fibre is 40gm/2000kcal.

Patients in this study had Type 2 diabetes and a calorie intake of 1,200-1,500kcal, causing their RDA for fibre to be 24-30gm.

The fibre intake of these patients was increased up to 20 to 25 per cent from the recommended allowances for them to be consuming a high fibre diet.

The study tracked 200 participants’ fibre intake for six months and included check-ups at the start of the study, three months and six months.

Participants were provided with diet prescriptions, which included detailed lists of different food groups with portion sizes in regional languages.

The researchers tracked participants’ fibre intake several ways, including having patients send photos of their meals on WhatsApp, which not only helped in knowing their fibre intake but also helped approximate portion sizes, and telephone calls three times a week during which detailed dietary recall was taken.

Participants on a high fibre diet experienced significant improvement in several cardiovascular risk factors, including a nine per cent reduction in serum cholesterol, 23 per cent reduction in triglycerides, 15 per cent reduction of systolic blood pressure and a 28 per cent reduction of fasting glucose.

The researchers found a high fibre diet is inversely related to cardiovascular risk factors and plays a protective role against cardiovascular disease.

The study was presented at the ACC Middle East Conference 2019 together with 10th Emirates Cardiac Society Congress in Dubai. (IANS)

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