Increasing fibre intake reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes and colorectal cancer, according to a major review commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO).
The review, published in The Lancet, found that people should eat between 25g and 29g of fibre each day, and that having more than 30g may be even more beneficial, with those consuming the most fibre reducing their risk of death from all causes by 15-30 per cent. Around the world, most people have less than 20g a day, while just nine per cent of people in the UK consume the amount of fibre recommended in the review.
Fibre promotes a feeling of being full and plays a role in how the intestines absorb food. It is found in foods such as fruit and vegetables, wholegrain breads and pasta, nuts and pulses.
The findings are set to inform new WHO guidelines on how much fibre people should eat to boost health. However, they have been interpreted as a blow against the low-carb movement that has gained popularity in recent years.