On today’s agenda? Fiber. Specifically, how you’re probably not eating enough of it.
We’ve always considered our diet to be fairly balanced, but when we read a recent article in The Atlantic, “Just Eat More Fiber,” we were pretty shocked to find out that the average American eats 16 grams of fiber a day—significantly less than the 25 to 30 grams that’s suggested by FDA.
If step one was identifying the problem, step two is finding out why it is a problem in the first place. Per a chart from a 2005 study from the University of Minnesota, fiber leads to greater satiety, less insulin secretion, and more short-chain fatty acids. Basically, all of these things mean less body weight. According to the article, fiber has also been shown “to reduce breast-cancer risk by reducing estrogen levels in the blood and to promote healthy aging.” Pretty crucial stuff.
OK, so now that we know a little more about our fiber needs, how can we eat more of it? Turns out, it’s pretty delicious. Some of the best sources of fiber are unprocessed fruits and vegetables and whole grains. It’s found in everything from apples and kiwis to corn tortillas and certain breakfast cereals. For reference, there are 25 grams of fiber in six apples. (Here’s a pretty comprehensive list of high-fiber foods from the Mayo Clinic.)
Fruit salad, anyone?