You need to eat more fiber. How do I know? Because recent research suggests that fewer than 1 in 10 American adults are eating enough of it.
Avoiding fiber is risky behavior. Too little can lead to digestive troubles like diarrhea and constipation, an unhealthy population of gut flora, higher blood pressure, cholesterol, and a greater risk for heart disease and type-2 diabetes.
Further, many of the nutritional vessels for fiber offer a slew of other benefits.
Quite frankly, you’re missing out and putting your health at risk.
Researchers analyzed survey data collected between 2013 and 2018 from 14,600 American adults. National in scope, it found that only 9 percent of women and 5 percent of men were getting the daily recommended amount of fiber.
Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that passes through the body to feed gut bacteria, remove arterial cholesterol, and support digestive health, heart health, and more.
Intake is based on calorie intake, and women should aim for about 25 grams (g) per day on a 2,000 calorie diet Men should get about 38 g based on 2,500 calories per day.
So, where can you get it? A lot of places. Swapping a candy bar, cake, or chips for fruit or popcorn is one step. Substituting white rice with brown, quinoa, farro, or another whole grain is also an easy option.
Simply put, more fiber comes with eating more fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes, and less processed foods and meats. You don’t necessarily need to give up meat, but serve your steak with a side of salad, asparagus, or broccoli instead of starch.
Getting the daily recommended intake of fiber can help your health in several ways. It can help you age more slowly and enjoy life longer. Further, the foods it’s found in can lead to a more nutrient-dense and higher-quality diet.