If you eat lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, you could be eating a high-fiber diet without knowing. While it’s important to eat fiber, some people are adding extra to their diet with great results. Aiming for 25 grams of fiber a day is recommended. However, worldwide, the average adult is only eating 20 grams, while the average American is only eating 15 grams a day.
Fiber is important in many parts of the health processes, including assisting with regular bowel movement, helping you fill fuller longer, improving cholesterol and helping blood sugar levels. Also, it’s also known to assist in preventing fatal diseases like heart disease and bowel cancer, among other things.
Protection for the Body
Medical research over the past few decades has looked extensively into what fiber does for our bodies. As such, the World Health Organization has used this research to inform the creation of new fiber guidelines. Within this, they also took a look at research on which types of carbohydrates offer the best protection against diseases and weight gain. During these changes, they looked at 185 studies that covered 135 million person-years and 58 clinical trials that involved 4,635 people.
Throughout all the investigations, researchers saw a 15% to 30% reduction in cardiovascular-related mortality when looking at those who ate little fiber versus an abundance of fiber. In addition, they also noted that those who high a high-fiber diet has less issue with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and CRC. The researchers stated that for every 1,000 subjects tested, 13 fewer died and six fewer had coronary heart disease when looking from low fiber consumption to high fiber consumption.
Too Much Fiber
Researches were quick to note that fiber isn’t a cure-all drug. Increasing your fiber should be done under the supervision of a medical doctor with an understanding of your situation and needs. Though you should always follow the health guidelines laid out by the government, it’s important to note that too much fiber can also lead to issues.
Those with iron and mineral level issues should be very careful when increasing their fiber. Fiber leaches iron from the body, which can result in other health issues. This warning goes for anyone attempting to follow a high-fiber diet. Always consult a physician.
After looking at the positives and negatives that can and have resulted from an increase in the consumption of fiber, doctors have created new recommendations. All adults should aim for 25 grams of fiber a day from good sources such as vegetables and fruit. When getting fiber from grain, adults are advised to switch to whole grain and unprocessed foods. Ensure that your food is low in added sugar, saturated fats, and sodium to get the most benefit from your increase in fiber consumption.