95% Of Americans Don't Consume Fiber They Need Each Day
There are a lot of health factors to keep in mind as we navigate through the dietary day: calories, carbohydrates, protein, saturated fat, vitamins, and minerals, to name a few. Did you forget fiber? A lot of people do, Michael Precker reported for SciTechDaily.
Photo Insert: Fiber is mostly found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and cereals.
“We’ve known this forever, and it has to get rediscovered all the time,” said Joanne Slavin, professor of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
“Fiber is really good medicine. It’s the one thing we want people to eat more of.” For decades, that message has been preached by dietitians, headlined in health magazines, and inscribed on packages of cereal, many other food, and dietary supplements.
Yet, studies show many people in the United States fall well short of the fiber intake they need. In one alarming example, a 2017 analysis in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine concluded that 95% of adults and children don’t consume the amount of fiber recommended for good health.
Those recommendations vary by age and gender, but Slavin said the average is about 28 grams of fiber per day, “and the average intake is only about 14 grams. So, for most people, there’s a 14-gram gap.”
Fiber is the material in plant-based foods that can’t be broken down and passes through the system undigested. It’s mostly found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and cereals.
Fiber has been shown to help protect against heart disease, diabetes, diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel syndrome, obesity, and colorectal cancer. Fiber can help flush toxins from the body, lower cholesterol and promote weight loss because it helps people feel fuller while consuming fewer calories.