Published: Feb 14, 2011 10:32 PM EST
Updated: Feb 14, 2011 7:33 PM EST

CHICAGO (AP) - Eat more fiber and you just may live longer. That's the message from a new government study. It finds a link between high-fiber diets and lower risks of death - not only from heart disease but from infectious and respiratory illnesses as well.

The average American eats only about 15 grams of fiber each day. That's much less than the current daily recommendation of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.

In the new study, the people who met the guidelines were less likely to die during a nine-year follow-up period than people who ate the least amount of roughage.

The research appears in Monday's Archives of Internal Medicine.

--- Online: Dietary guidelines: http://www.dietaryguidelines.gov Archives: http://www.archinternmed.com

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