Signs of inflammation linked to chronic disease in overweight people can be substantially reduced by a high-fibre diet, a study shows.
Overweight adults can benefit from eating mainly slowly digested carbohydrates such as whole grains, also known as a low-glycemic-load diet.
Eating such foods increases production of a hormone which helps control sugar and fat metabolism and does not cause blood-glucose levels to rise sharply.
The research was conducted in the US city of Seattle using 80 men and women, half of whom were overweight. Among the larger participants, the high-fibre diet caused an inflammation biomarker known as C-reactive protein to be reduced by 22%.
Research leader Marian Neuhouser, based in the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre’s public health sciences division in Seattle, said: “This finding is important and clinically useful since C-reactive protein is associated with an increased risk for many cancers as well as cardiovascular disease.
“Lowering inflammatory factors is important for reducing a broad range of health risks.
“Showing that a low-glycemic-load diet can improve health is important for the millions who are overweight or obese.”