4 Benefits and 3 Steps to Proper Fiber Intake
We’ve all been told that we need to increase the amount of fiber in our diets. The typical American diet has somewhere between 5-14 grams of fiber per day. In 2002, the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences Research Council for the first time issued Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) for fiber. For males between the ages of 19-50 it is 38 grams of fiber per day. For women in the same age category it is 25 grams of fiber per day. If you are over 50 years old, then the amount of fiber decreases to 30 grams for men and 21 grams for women. At best the typical American is only getting 50% of the needed fiber in their diet. Now, you might be thinking why would a bunch of scientists want to spend their time and your tax dollars worrying about how much we poop? The simple answer is your health.
4 Profound Health Benefits Related to Proper Fiber Intake!
Proper fiber intake may reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity in addition to being beneficial for treating or preventing constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulosis.
o Heart Disease. One of the ways the body eliminates cholesterol is through the excretion of bile acids. Water-soluble fiber such as pectin and fiber found in rolled oats helps to bind these bile acids. By increasing your fiber intake you not only increase the amount of fiber available to bind these bile acids but also increase the speed at which they pass through your system. Since there is a direct correlation between low blood cholesterol and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, increased fiber intake is a first natural step in helping to control and/or lower your blood cholesterol.
o Diabetes. Meat, chicken, fish and diary products do not contain fiber. Dietary fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. This is also your main source for sugars which are carbohydrates. The more refined the carbohydrate the lower the fiber content and the higher the sugar effect. Choosing high fiber fruits, vegetables, and grains will slow down the absorption of sugar from the small intestines into the blood stream to help keep your blood sugar at a normal level. Insulin is used by the body to help regulate blood sugar level. If you can regulate your blood sugar at the entry level then your pancreas doesn’t have to work as hard to produce insulin.
o Cancer. Your liver is your detoxification center and it uses bile to help remove these toxins from your system. As we have already discussed, water-soluble fiber helps to bind these bile acids for proper elimination from your system. Lack of fiber allows these toxins to sit in your colon longer as well as provides a window for them to be absorbed back into your system. This increases your risk for colon cancer.
o Obesity. Fiber, by itself, has no calories. Combining water, with a diet high in fiber, helps to fill you up faster so that you eat less and potentially lose weight or at least prevent weight gain. In a Northwestern and Harvard University study of more than 74,000 female nurses, those who added the most fruits and vegetables to their diet lowered their risk for weight gain by 28 percent.
What is Dietary Fiber?
Dietary fiber is found only in plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains. It is that portion of the plant that is not digested by the enzymes in your intestinal tract. This insoluble fiber binds water to make your stools softer and bulkier. Typically, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables contain just as much fiber as raw ones. However, some types of refining processes may reduce the fiber content. Current food labeling requires the amount of dietary fiber to be listed. It will be listed just below the “Total Carbohydrate” portion of the Nutrition Facts section of the product label. For a manufacturer to make fiber claims it must meet the following guidelines.. water soluble bag manufacturers