Eat fiber from a variety of sources for maximum benefit

The evidence for health benefits from fiber is “remarkably consistent,” according to Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. He told Time in an October 18, 2018 article that fiber—which is more slowly digested than foods like refined starches and sugars—has been linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and weight gain. The best sources are unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, seeds, and legumes, according to the article. Whole grains are also a good source of fiber, especially if they can be eaten in an intact form, such as brown rice or wheat berries.

Willett said that while synthetic fibers like polydextrose found in packaged foods offer some of the same benefits as natural fibers, including lowering blood sugar spikes and decreasing appetite, they are a less healthy choice because they lack vitamins and minerals.

He recommended eating fiber from a variety of sources “to minimize the chance of missing something important.”

Read the Time article: These Are the Best High-Fiber Foods, According to Experts

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Higher dietary fiber intake in young women may reduce breast cancer risk (Harvard Chan School news)