Feeling Fiber-tastic!

With all the health benefits of dietary fiber, it’s amazing that most Americans simply don’t get enough fiber in their diets. According to a recent U.S. News & World Report article, only 5 percent of Americans are achieving the adequate intake of recommended fiber.

The USDA daily fiber recommendation for men and women younger than 50 is 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively: for men and women older than 50, it’s 30 grams and 21 grams, respectively. 

While it’s true that you can have too much fiber, studies show that more is better than less. 

According to a review of nearly 250 studies in the February 2019 issue of The Lancet, eating fiber from a variety of whole food sources, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, can decrease risk of death from heart disease and cancer. Those who ate the most fiber reduced their risk of death from heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and/or colon cancer by as much as 24% compared with people who ate little fiber. With each additional 8 grams of fiber, disease risk decreased between 5% and 27%. Greatest reductions were seen with daily intake between 25 and 29 grams.

Why Fiber is Fab

It normalizes bowel movements. 
If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool. According to a 2015 review, dietary fiber increases the bulk of stool, helps promote regular bowel movements, and reduces the time that waste spends inside the intestines.

It helps maintain bowel health. 
A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Studies have also found that a high-fiber diet likely lowers the risk of colorectal cancer. 

It lowers cholesterol levels. 
Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or "bad," cholesterol levels. Studies also have shown that high-fiber foods may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.

It helps control blood sugar levels. 
In people with diabetes, fiber — particularly soluble fiber — can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

It’s an ally in achieving healthy weight. 
High-fiber foods tend to be more filling than low-fiber foods, so you're likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer. And high-fiber foods tend to take longer to eat and to be less "energy dense," which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.

It helps you live longer. 
Studies suggest that increasing your dietary fiber intake — especially cereal fiber — is associated with a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and all cancers.

Show Me the Fiber

Refined or processed foods, such as canned fruits and vegetables, pulp-free juices, white breads and pastas, and non-whole-grain cereals are lower in fiber. Whole foods, rather than processed foods or even fiber supplements, are generally a better way to add fiber to your diet. 

Give your fiber intake a boost with these:

  • Whole-grain products
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans, peas and other legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

Whole-food ingredients like the seeds and nuts found in our  Grateful Snacking Co. snacks, are a great source of dietary fiber. Just one serving of our Multi-Seed Crisps or Grain-Free Granola Bites deliver 21% (6g) of the recommended dietary fiber. Plus, getting more fiber has never tasted so good!