The Move for Better Health

According to reports by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): “Chronic diseases and conditions – such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity and arthritis -are among the most common, costly and preventable of all health problems.” Many chronic diseases could be prevented, delayed, or alleviated, through simple lifestyle changes. CDC’ also estimated that eliminating these three risk factors – poor diet, inactivity and smoking – would eliminate: 80% of heart disease and strokes; 80% of Type 2 diabetes and 40% of cancer.

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine made famous this adage: Let Food be thy Medicine and Medicine be thy Food… so isn’t it time to view the supermarkets and our kitchens as the ‘Farrmacies of the Future’? What we eat changes us and impacts our health. And every meal is a chance to heal. Modern science has dramatically increased human awareness of diseases and how they work in the last few decades.

With the staggering rise of diet-related chronic diseases in many countries around the world, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, simple and effective dietary intervention strategies are needed.

THE FIBRE SOLUTION

Physicians and nutritionists have long extolled the virtues of a high fibre diet, and this trend is accelerated in recent years by health-minded consumers consuming more fibre as a means to pro-actively improve their wellbeing.

Dietary fibre is a crucial nutrient our body and our intestines, in particular, cannot do without for healthy functioning. It is also something the human body cannot produce on its own, and which occurs naturally in varying amounts in agricultural produce such as vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes, grains and seeds.

Studies3 have shown that on average, most adults consume only about half of what they need daily (on average, daily dietary fibre intake is around 13g to 20g), while the guidelines from most health authorities advise the daily requirement as 30g (for men) and 25g (for women).

This rather grim picture reflects not just the sad state of our modern-day diets, but also the lack of awareness about how to get enough fibre daily as part of our diets. Many governments and health advocacy groups are now clearly recommending increased consumption of dietary fibre.

Dietary fibre is considered a ‘nutrient of public health concern’ because low intakes are associated with potential health risks. Diets high in dietary fibre are shown to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Nutrition science has provided a wealth of evidence to support the role of dietary fibre in:

  • 1. Maintaining bowel regularity
  • 2. Regulating blood sugar levels
  • 3. Regulating blood cholesterol levels
  • 4. Metabolising carbohydrates consumed
  • 5. Feeling of fullness (satiety)
  • 6. Supporting weight management

Research4 shows that the regular consumption of natural dietary fibre brings about cardiovascular benefits, which in turn, affects metabolism and waist circumference, blood glucose, blood pressure, insulin control, and inflammation in our bodies.

WHAT IT MEANS TO FOOD PRODUCERS

For businesses today involved in nutraceuticals, food, beverages, health supplements, sports nutrition and skincare, there is real pressure today to continually innovate or reformulate to meet the changing food standards and labelling requirements. That need goes hand in hand with the growing demands from consumers for more natural, healthier and plant-based products to cater to their changing lifestyles.

According to a 2015 Nielsen Global Health & Wellness report, 36% of respondents rated foods high in fibre as very important, with the situation in Asia Pacific closely reflecting global averages for the demand for foods that are high in fibre, and low in carbohydrates and contain reduced calories. As a response to this growing market demand, major food manufacturers are also seeking to introduce and/or increase dietary fibre in their products.

Insoluble fibres, like Five10Fibre™, absorbs water and moves through the digestive system, undergoing very little fermentation in the gut.

References

  • Mensah G. Global and Domestic Health Priorities: Spotlight on Chronic Disease. National Business Group on Health Webinar. May 23, 2006. http://www.businessgrouphealth.org/opportunities/webinar052306chron-icdiseases.pdf
  • USDA guidelines:
  • https://www.ars.usda.gov/ARSUserFiles/80400530/pdf/DBrief/12_fiber_intake_0910.pdf
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16205465 (A place for dietary fiber in the management of metabolic syndrome. Delzenne, NM Cani, PhD.) and https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18949593 (Dietary fiber in the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome: a review. Aleixandre A, Miguel M.)
  • Nielsen Global Health & Wellness Survey, 2015