Can fortifying foods with fibre reduce the risk of disease?
A new study has found that increasing the fibre content of everyday food items could lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Increasing the fibre content of everyday UK foods, such as baked goods, dairy products, soups and smoothies, will enable 50 percent more adults to get the recommended daily amount of fibre in their diets and lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes for the majority of UK adults claims a new study by Tate & Lyle PLC.
In the study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, scientists from Tate & Lyle, worked with specialist data analytics company Crème Global, to find the effects of reformulating everyday foods with added fibre. According to their research, adding more fibre to food reduced the risk of cardiovascular and type 2 diabetes risk for 72 percent of the adult population, and saw six percent of the UK population lose weight due to the higher fibre consumption.
Tate and Lyle claimed that UK adults consume just 19g of fibre per day on average, significantly under the recommended amount of 30g, with only nine percent currently meeting the daily target. They also added that low fibre intake is associated with higher levels of colorectal and breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, and can disrupt the beneficial gut microbiome.
“Most people understand that eating fibre helps keep bowel function regular, but fewer understand that getting the right amount of fibre in your diet is highly beneficial for wider health and wellbeing, including cardiovascular, immunity, skin, brain and gut health, said Dr Kavita Karnik, Global Head, Nutrition & Regulatory Affairs at Tate & Lyle and a co-author of the health and nutrition data modelling study. “However, for most people it is difficult to get enough fibre into their diet without exceeding their recommended calorie intake. This is where fibre fortification could play a highly beneficial role to public health – it would allow consumers to continue eating the products they prefer while potentially, lowering rates of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes and help maintain a healthy weight across the population”.
Tate & Lyle added that consumers can take several steps to increase the amount of fibre in their diet, including swapping jam on toast with almond or other nut butters, swapping standard yoghurts with added fibre yoghurts, swapping the occasional milk chocolate treat with a ‘reduced sugar’ version, with added fibre to retain sweetness without compromising on taste, and swapping white sliced breakfast toast with a fibre fortified cereal, marked as ‘source of fibre’ or ‘high in fibre’ on the packet.