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Fiber is a carbohydrate that doesn’t provide the body with energy. Rather, it passes through the stomach undigested and goes straight to the digestive tract. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (2020), fiber plays an important role in:
• Reducing the risk of heart disease • Helping with weight management • Reducing the risk of diabetes, and • Improving the digestion of food and passing of waste product
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps manage cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of heart disease. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, and therefore increases the feeling of fullness and helps move food through your digestive system. If you get your fiber from a wide range of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and nuts, then you’ll likely consume both the right amounts and types of fiber for good health.
Women should try to eat at least 21 to 25 grams of fiber a day, while men should aim for 30 to 38 grams a day (Mayo Clinic 2021). According to the Harvard School of Public Health (2021), most Americans only get about 15 grams of fiber per day. This is likely due to an increase in the consumption of processed and fast foods over the past few decades.
By making a few food swaps in your diet and paying closer attention to labels, you can ensure that you meet your daily recommended fiber amounts to reap the health benefits.
12 FOODS THAT ARE HIGH IN FIBER
Chia Seeds Raspberries Lentils or Black Beans Spaghetti Pear Broccoli Oatmeal Grean Peas Apple with Skin Potatoes Brussel Sprouts Almonds