Someone recently requested information on the importance of fiber. I did briefly address this in a previous blog; however, I'll do a little update on that today.
Currently, the recommendations are 38 grams of fiber for most adult males and 25 grams of fiber for most adult females. Check this out for a more detailed breakdown. I have found with clients, it is quite difficult for men to reach that lofty goal of 38 grams daily. I recommend that you just try, try, and try some more! Even if you don't reach 38 grams, you will most likely do much better than the average American.
Be sure to obtain most of your fiber from natural sources, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and oats. Research has shown than many of the products on the market that contain man-made fibers do nothing but give people gas. Unfortunately it is difficult to be sure which foods contain natural fibers and which ones contain man-made fibers. That is why I encourage you to choose mostly unprocessed foods that are naturally high in fiber.
Here are benefits of a high fiber diet:
1. Possible decrease in colon cancer risk. There are mixed results in studies that examine this.
2. Better weight control or weight loss. Fiber increases the feeling of fullness possibly decreasing total caloric intake. Also, foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, have less calories and more "bulk".
3. Fiber reduces constipation.
4. Improves blood cholesterol levels.
5. Helps regulate blood sugar in diabetics.
Read this for more information!