why do you need fiber in your body

Getting enough fiber is something people don't think about all that often. Let's face it: Most of us haven't a clue how many grams of fiber we're taking in on a typical day. And guess what? We're not even close to meeting the recommended intakes of 20-35 grams a day for healthy adults (25 daily grams for those eating 2,000 calories per day, for example, and 30 grams for 2,500 calories a day) according to the American Dietetic Association. The mean fiber intake in the U. S. is 14-15 grams a day. We get fiber from unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans, and most Americans aren't exactly loading their plates with these items. You'd be hard pressed to find any of them in your average fast-food value meal. And Americans are definitely eating more prepared and processed foods. Consumption of food prepared away from home increased from 18% of our total calories to 32% of total calories between 1977 and 1996. All this "away" food not only has more calories and fat per meal than home-prepared foods, but also less fiber (on a per-calorie basis). Why Do We Need Fiber? It's hard to believe that something we can't even digest can be so good for us! A higher-fiber diet has been shown to lower
and. High-fiber foods also tend to contain more and fewer calories, are digested more slowly, and help us feel full sooner.


But that's only the beginning of fiber's story. Here's what else it may do for us: The more gummy, gelatinous type of fiber (like that found in oats, breads, cereals, and the inside of beans) lowers and helps normalize and levels (important in preventing and ). The roughage type of fiber (like that found in wheat bran, strawberry seeds, and apple and bean skins) helps move things along in the large intestine. This promotes regular and prevents. A recent review of studies indicated that a higher-carb, low-fat diet (including ADA-recommended amounts of fiber) may be beneficial for treating people with syndrome X, an -resistant condition linked to. Fiber-rich foods help prevent. They help prevent the formation of intestinal pouches (diverticula) by contributing bulk in the, so that less forceful are needed to move things along. Fiber can reduce your risk of. If people who normally get little fiber suddenly doubled their intake through wiser food choices, they could lower their risk of by 40%, according to research involving data collected from 10 European countries. Fiber (from whole grains, vegetables, and beans) may have protective effects against. High-fiber diets may help slow the epidemic of in the U. S. , in part by enhancing sensitivity.


But it may not just be all about the fiber in this case; high-fiber foods also happen to be major sources of important micronutrients. That's why you want to concentrate on whole plant foods, not just fiber pills or. Fiber is the part of foods that the body cannot digest or absorb. Found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, fiber has many health benefits, such as decreasing the risk of heart disease and aiding in digestive health. Therefore, it is important to consume fiber-rich foods every day to improve the length and quality of life. Two types of fiber are needed for overall health. Insoluble fiber, found in whole-wheat flour products, wheat bran, nuts and vegetables, increases stool bulk and promotes movement of food through the digestive system. Soluble fiber, found in oats, peas, beans, apples, carrots and citrus fruits, dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance that slows absorption of food components, thus allowing the body to retain more nutrients. The recommended daily intake of fiber is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams a day for men, which equates to about 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed. This recommended daily intake can easily be achieved through regular consumption of whole grains and beans, as well as two to three servings of fruits and vegetables each day.


Increased consumption of fiber can improve many aspects of health. Fiber-rich foods such as whole-grain breads and cereals help to increase stool bulk, which helps to prevent constipation. In addition, fiber increases bowel integrity and function, thus minimizing the risk of conditions such as hemorrhoids and diverticulitis. Fruits, vegetables and legumes that contain soluble fiber have been found to lower "bad" LDL cholesterol levels and slow the absorption of sugar in the body, which in turn can decrease the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Fiber can also facilitate weight loss. Because of its bulking quality, fiber can make you feel full and prevent overconsumption of calories during meals and snack times. A 2011 study reported by the National Institutes of Health found that those who consumed higher amounts of fiber over a nine-year period had a significantly less chance of dying from chronic disease than those who consumed less fiber. Fiber consumption of study participants ranged from 12. 6 grams to 29. 4 grams per day in men and from 10. 8 grams to 25. 8 grams per day in women. Those who consumed the most fiber each day had a 22 percent lower risk of death over the nine-year period than those who consumed the least amount of fiber.

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