Eating foods with lots of fiber was also associated with 16–24 percent lower incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, Type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer.
The authors noted the impact could translate to 13 fewer deaths and six fewer cases of coronary heart disease per 1,000 participants.
"Our findings provide convincing evidence for nutrition guidelines to focus on increasing dietary fiber and on replacing refined grains with whole grains. This reduces incidence risk and mortality from a broad range of important diseases," co-author Jim Mann said in a statement.
Furthermore, the team said consuming large amounts of fiber is also correlated to lower weight and cholesterol levels.
“The health benefits of fiber are supported by over 100 years of research into its chemistry, physical properties, physiology and effects on metabolism,” Mann added. “Fiber-rich whole foods that require chewing and retain much of their structure in the gut increase satiety and help weight control and can favourably influence lipid and glucose levels. The breakdown of fiber in the large bowel by the resident bacteria has additional wide-ranging effects including protection from colorectal cancer.”
The scientists said adults should consume 25-29 grams or more of dietary fiber daily to reap the health benefits of the carbohydrate. Foods rich in fiber include whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and pulses, such as peas, beans, lentils, and chickpeas.
The analysts said it is possible to have too much fiber, particularly for those with insufficient iron or minerals, because it can further reduce the amount of iron in the body.