Jennifer Salt, Montclair State University Dietetic Intern
Karen Ensle EdD, RD, FADA, CFCS, FCHS Educator, RCE of Union County
Eating a high fiber diet has many benefits. Fiber may be known for helping food move through the body, but it contributes to your health in other ways as well. High fiber foods are generally low in fat and calories and are more filling than foods made with white flour.
Consuming fiber rich foods can replace other fattier foods from your diet and help in weight control. It has been shown that people who eat diets rich in fiber have lower body weights than those who eat less fiber.
Additionally, fiber has been shown to help prevent heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Fiber also helps control blood sugar levels, which is very useful for people with diabetes. Lastly, adequate amounts of fiber in your diet can help prevent constipation and hemorrhoids.
The recommended daily amount for fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. After age 50, daily needs drop to 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men. In order to reach these goals, include many fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans in your diet.
Here are some small steps for increasing your fiber intake:
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