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Love your heart? Eat that ‘nduma’

Switching that tasty sausage during breakfast with sweet potatoes or brown bread can reduce your chances of dying from stroke, cancer or heart disease by up to 30 per cent, a study has shown.

However, if you already suffer from these ailments, the dietary changes may not be of much help.

A recent analysis between diet and some lifestyle diseases has found that meals rich in fibre can reduce one’s chances of developing coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal cancer by 15-30 per cent.

According to the study published in The Lancet on January 10, food rich in whole grains like brown rice, brown chapatis, brown bread, millet, oatmeal and pop corns also have the same benefits.

“Dose-response curves suggested that higher intake of dietary fibre could confer even greater benefit to protect against cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and colorectal and breast cancer,” reads the study led by Dr Andrew Reynolds from the University of Otago, New Zealand.

Foods rich in fibre include vegetables like sukumawiki and spinach, fruits, nuts, beans, and arrow roots.

Benefits of carbohydrates

The study analysed data between April 30, 2017 and February 28 last year from previous reports on the possible benefits of carbohydrates and their relation to non-communicable diseases.

These studies were identified through searches in PubMed, Ovid MEDLINE, Embase, Coachrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and by hand-searching of previous publications.

“We excluded prospective studies and trials reporting on participants with a chronic disease, and weight loss trials or trials involving supplements,” the report reads.

Some 185 prospective studies and 58 clinical trials with 4,635 adult participants were included in the analyses.

It adds: “Risk reduction associated with a range of critical outcomes was greatest when daily intake of dietary fibre was between 25 and 29 grammes,” the study findings read.

There are at least 40,000 new cases of cancer annually in Kenya, according to the Kenya Network of Cancer Organisations, with 27,000 deaths in the same period.

At the same time, the Ministry of Health has linked some 100,000 deaths to diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and other ailments linked to high blood pressure.

“Implementation of recommendations to increase dietary fibre intake and to replace refined grains with whole grains is expected to benefit human health,” reads the study.

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