A new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests adding one kind of food to your diet may be all you need to look and feel healthier.
They found that adding more fibre to diet may be "the first step, and perhaps most important, to eating healthier".
The researchers split 240 volunteers into two groups, assigning half to the the American Heart Association (AHA) diet and half to a diet where they were instructed to eat more fibre.
All volunteers were considered at high risk of diabetes before the trial started.
The fibre group were asked to eat at least 30 grams of fiber per day, simply by eating more foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains than usual. They were not required to alter any other diet or exercise habits.
The AHA group were asked to reduce their daily calorie intake and were each given targets relating to how much saturated fat they should eat. They were also not required to change their exercise habits.
After a year, people in both groups lost around the same amount of weight, suggesting that a less restrictive fibre-rich diet may be just as effective as a more restrictive diet such as the AHA programme.
According to Time, study author Dr. Yunsheng Ma said: “By changing one thing, people in the fibre group were able to improve their diet and lose weight and improve their overall markers for metabolic syndrome.
“I think we have to change the paradigm about recommendations. Telling people to reduce this or reduce that is just too hard to do.”
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Ma added that asking people to focus on eating a certain food, rather than asking them to eat less food overall, may help people to feel more positive about weight loss and healthy eating.
This isn't the first study to suggest fibre could be seriously beneficial to our health.
Researchers at the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China combined data from 17 studies that tracked almost one million male and female participants and documented about 67,000 deaths.
Participants with the highest daily fibre intake were found to be 16% less likely to die from all causes than those with the lowest fibre intake.
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