Recommended Daily Fiber Requirements Change With Age

Today’s typical American diet of sugary snacks and sodas leads to a total daily consumption of less than 15 grams of fiber a day, much lower than what health officials currently recommend.

30-grams-per-dayDespite abundant evidence supporting the benefits of a fiber-rich diet, intake amongst the general population (particularly in Western cultures) remains relatively inadequate. Most of us still turn to foods like pizza and pastries to satisfy our hunger, ignoring the fact there are healthier choices which could do the same job, only better.

Current daily fiber recommendations suggest that adults consume 21 to 38 grams of dietary fiber a day, depending on age and gender, to maintain a long and healthy life. Children ages 1 and up should consume at least 19 grams of fiber a day. Yet only a very small percent of Americans (children and adults) are getting what they need, resulting in a cultural dietary fiber deficiency.

A daily fiber intake of more than 30 grams can be easily achieved by eat whole-grain cereal products, more fruits, vegetables and legumes and, instead of snaking on low fibre cakes and cookies, have some nuts or seeds. They’re surprisingly just as filling.

As we age, fiber-rich foods continue to cause a steadier rise in blood sugar, and therefore, a lowered insulin response. It also helps to keep you “regular” by helping your digestive system stay in good shape. Research indicates that for each gram of fiber we consume, we eliminate approximately seven calories. Thus, if you eat 30 grams a day…you’ll essentially erase the net effect of 210 calories…which can help to protect you against age-related weight gain.

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