Fiber consumption

The average American gets about 15 grams of fiber daily, much less than we need, according to the American Dietetic Association.

  • Women younger than 51 should aim for 25 grams of fiber daily.
  • Men younger than 51 should aim for 38 grams of fiber daily.
  • Women 51 and older should get 21 grams of fiber daily.
  • Men 51 and older should get 30 grams daily.

The European Food Safety Authority suggests that including fiber rich foods in a healthy balanced diet can improve weight maintenance. Dietary fiber can reduce your risk of:
  • Cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) and type 2 diabetes

 Foods such as oats and barley contain a type of fiber known as beta glucan, which may help to reduce cholesterol levels if you consume 3g or more of it daily, as part of a healthy diet.
  • Colorectal cancer (bowel cancer)

Did you know that the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) estimate that 45% of bowel cancer could be prevented through diet, physical activity and weight?

So, how to close the Fiber Gap?

Increasing fiber intake suddenly, particularly in individuals consuming a low fiber diet, may result in gastrointestinal effects, such as an increased number of stools per week, having softer stools (but not diarrhea) or having increased flatulence. These natural effects are due to either bulking effects or due to the fermentation of fiber in the gastrointestinal tract. These potential effects can be minimized by increasing fiber intake more gradually to allow the gastrointestinal tract to adapt. Thus, it may be helpful to decrease fiber intake until these feelings subside and then gradually increase fiber intake.
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends eating at least nine servings (2 cups) of fiber-filled fruits and vegetables each day, including apples, oranges, broccoli, berries, pears, peas, figs, carrots, and beans. 

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