It’s not easy to have a conversation about fiber. Even the Mayo Clinic can’t avoid the juvenile humor surround it.
“Dietary fiber – found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes – is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation,” the Mayo Clinic’s website says. “But foods containing fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.”
It’s true. Fiber has loads of health benefits, but few Americans realize it. On average, North Americans consume less than 50 percent of the dietary fiber levels recommended for good health. To combat the ignorance of the importance of fiber, the United States has taken steps to improve education. The Food and Drug Administration, for example, recognizes the health benefits of a high fiber diet by giving approval to food products to make health claims about fiber count.
Maintaining a diet rich in fiber controls your blood sugar, normalizes gut health and keeps you fuller longer,”
According to Whitney English, a registered dietitian nutritionist, a high fiber diet has these concrete health benefits: “Maintaining a diet rich in fiber controls your blood sugar, normalizes gut health and keeps you fuller longer,” she says in the video. English recommends brown rice, barley, quinoa, spinach, and kale to help boost fiber levels in a typical diet.
The Mayo Clinic suggests that men who are 50 years old or younger should have a daily intake of 38 grams of fiber. Women of the same age should have 25 grams of daily fiber. For women 51 years or older, 21 grams is the recommended dosage of fiber. Conversely, men of the same age are suggested to take 30 grams of dietary fiber.
There are some negative health consequences to a high-fiber diet, as the Mayo Clinic notes. “High-fiber foods are good for your health,” its website says. “But adding too much fiber too quickly can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Increase fiber in your diet gradually over a few weeks. This allows the natural bacteria in your digestive system to adjust to the change.”
Watch Whitney talk about the importance of a high fiber diet in the video below and see how she recommends the best way for a Post Workout Recovery