Fiber is already recommended as part of a healthy diet,
but new studies now show that along with its other benefits,
dietary fiber helps prevent colon cancer.
It was previously believed that dietary fiber did
not help protect against colon cancer.
Eating the recommended amount of fiber could reduce
the risk of colon cancer by as much as 40 percent,
according to an article in the August issue of the
Harvard Men's Health Watch. The Institutes
of Medicine recommend that men younger than 50 consume
38 grams of fiber a day, while men over age 50 should
consume 30 grams of fiber a day.
The article also noted that other studies have shown
that dietary fiber provides other health benefits
by reducing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and
intestinal problems. For example, a Harvard study
found that men who ate the most fiber (an average
of 28.9 grams per day) had 41 percent fewer heart
attacks over six years than men who ate the least
Studies have also found that a high-fiber diet leads
to a 42 percent reduction in diverticulosis, an intestinal
condition that affects about half of all Americans
over age 60, the article said.
"You stand to gain a lot from dietary fiber, but
to get all these benefits, you need to eat a good
mix of high-fiber foods," Dr. Harvey Simon, editor-in-chief
of the Harvard Men's Health Watch, said in
a prepared statement.
Good sources of fiber include the bran of whole grains,
the leaves and stems of plants, nuts, seeds, fruits
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