Too many of us just aren’t getting enough fiber in our diets and it can’t be under stated how important fiber is to our health. The benefits range from reducing heart disease, maintaining and improving digestive health, maintaining a healthy body weight, and reducing risk of diabetes and also some types of cancer.
How much do you need?
The daily recommendations for most healthy adults:
* Men 50 years and younger: 38 g fiber per day
* Men 51 years and older: 30 g fiber per day
* Women 50 years and younger: 25 g fiber per day
* Women 51 years and older: 21 g fiber per day
How to increase fiber in your diet:
• Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
• Switch to Whole Grain. Replace white bread with whole-grain breads. Eat brown rice instead of white rice. Eat more of the following foods:
• Eat cereals high in dietary fiber for breakfast, such as bran cereals. Check labels on the packages for the amounts of dietary fiber in each brand. Some cereals may have less fiber than you think.
• Eat cooked beans weekly.
Are you reading your nutrition labels?
Don’t make too many changes at once
Bloating, cramping or gas is experienced by many people when they increase the amount of fiber in their diet. Making small changes in your diet over a period of time can help prevent this.
Make sure to drink enough Water
You need to drink more fluids when you increase the amount of fiber you eat. You need to drink at least 8 glasses of liquid, preferably water, each day when you increase your fiber intake.
Contribution by Thomas Franzone, Dietetic Intern