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T.C. Cleave and High-Fiber Diets

Fiber's important contribution to a healthful diet have not always been acknowledged. Until the 1970s, fiber was regarded as useless -- or even an impediment to good nutrition.

We have naval doctor T.L. Cleave (1906-83) to thank for much current knowledge of the importance of fiber in the diet. Cleave proposed that refined carbohydrates -- notably white flour and refined sugar -- were harmful to health in many ways. He was supported by a surgeon from East Africa, Denis Burkitt, who presented evidence that Western diseases are rare in Africa and other third-world countries where fiber intake is high.

For a comprehensive overview of dietary fiber and how to reap its health benefits, see: Fiber: Its Importance in Your Diet