Fiber Report Card: A Big Fat “F”

8 Apr

Fiber Report Card: A Big Fat “F”

Americans are failing when it comes to fiber intake.

The USDA’s “What We Eat in America” survey data shows that the national average daily fiber intake is just 16 grams per day.

The problem is, we need closer to 30 grams of fiber per day (or to be specific: 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day if you follow the Dietary Reference Intake Adequate Intake recommended levels.)

When you get right down to it, most of us are eating just about half of one of the most beneficial nutrients known to man.

A diet high in fiber has been shown to:

  • Help control hunger by promoting satiety and preventing overeating, which aids in weight management
  • Slow down digestion which helps taper blood sugar elevations, a useful benefit in diabetes management
  • Aid in the increased excretion of bile acids which can lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, ideal for heart disease management
  • Decrease the risk of GI problems like constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticular disease
  • Play a role in the prevention of certain type of cancer

And despite all of these fiber-friendly health benefits, there’s no reason NOT to eat more fiber.

One of the easiest ways to bump yourself closer to the 30 gram per day level is to eat more fruit. Aim for 3 servings of fresh fruit per day and make fruit your go-to in between meal snack.

An average serving of fruit has 4-5 grams of fiber. Do that 3 times per day, and you’re halfway there. Combine your fruit fiber with other whole grains, legumes, and vegetables, and you’ll quickly see your fiber grade go from failing to flawless!

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