95% of Americans don't eat enough of it: which food will ensure a long and healthy life
Fiber is a nutritional superhero, and yet, according to the American Nutrition Society, most people don't consume enough in their diets. Where is a lot of fiber and what is the use of it, the publication said CNBC.
A 2017 analysis published in the National Library of Medicine of the US National Institutes of Health found that the vast majority - 95% of adults and children - do not meet their daily fiber needs.
Benefits of fiber
Nutritionists claim that the fiber you get from foods, not supplements, is an important energy nutrient.
Adequate fiber intake has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, certain gastrointestinal disorders, and type 2 diabetes, the researchers found.
There is also evidence that the benefits of fiber go beyond any specific disease: eating more fiber can lower mortality rates in people. Even the diets of the inhabitants of the Blue Zones, the places in the world where people live the longest, include fiber as a main nutrient, especially in foods such as black beans, chickpeas and lentils.
A study by the National Institutes of Health found that people who ate more fiber, especially grains, had a significantly lower risk of dying within nine years compared to those who ate less fiber.
The analysis involved about 388 participants who were between 000 and 50 years old at the start of the study.
How much fiber do you need
The latest dietary guidelines for Americans (2020 to 2025) from the USDA recommends 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories eaten. The number of calories you need per day depends on your gender, age, weight, and activity level - most commonly around 2000 calories.
Dietary fiber intake among most Americans does not meet this recommendation and usually ranges from 16 to 19 grams per day.
How to increase your fiber intake
Fiber is not broken down by the body. Instead, it passes through the body undigested and helps regulate the body's use of sugars, helping to control hunger and blood sugar levels.
Dietary fiber comes in two flavors, according to researchers at Harvard University: soluble fiber, which can help lower glucose levels, and also help lower blood cholesterol, and insoluble fiber, which can help food pass through your digestive system, promoting regularity and helping prevent constipation.
While you can easily take fiber supplements, you will eventually lose all the other vitamins and minerals that whole foods contain.
The best sources of fiber are whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, and nuts.
Five foods rich in fiber
- Cellulose: 10 g per cup
In addition to their fiber content, avocados are loaded with beneficial monounsaturated fatty acids that have been linked to improved heart health.
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Avocados are so versatile that their uses go beyond main dishes like guacamole. It can be added to smoothies for a creamy, thick texture, or spread over a few slices of croutons instead of butter or mayonnaise.
- Cellulose: 8 g per cup
Raspberries also contain many beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Berries also have a low glycemic index, which means they won't raise blood sugar levels.
A 2017 study found that eating fresh fruits daily, especially raspberries, can reduce the likelihood of developing diabetes by 12%.
You can eat a handful as a quick snack, or get creative and add them to salads to add some astringency.
- Cellulose: 21 grams per cup
Lentils contain an impressive amount of fiber per serving and are also an excellent source of protein (around 47 grams per cup), making them an essential filling aid.
Research shows that eating 150 grams of lentils daily can help improve blood lipids, blood pressure, and inflammation.
Lentils are delicious in a hearty soup or stew, and they pair well with protein in salads and tacos.
- Cellulose: 8 g per cup
Oats are gluten-free whole grains that contain fiber and other important nutrients, including iron, zinc, and magnesium. Studies have shown that they can also help you control blood sugar, heart health, and even weight.
For breakfast, oats can be used as a grain substitute in muffins and pancakes. For more savory dishes like meatballs, you can use them as bread crumbs.
5. Chia seeds
- Cellulose: 10 grams per ounce
Even a small amount of chia seeds has many health benefits. They are also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help improve brain and heart health.
These small seeds can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, and salads. They gelatinize when placed in liquid, so you can easily make homemade berry jam of your choice.
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