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How do I add more fiber to my diet?


Hello Healthy Diners! A really good question came up last week about fiber and whether added fiber in products is beneficial. Here's what our dietitians have to say.
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Hello Healthy Diners! A really good question came up last week about fiber and whether added fiber in products is beneficial. Here's what our dietitians have to say:


Added fiber is beneficial, but make sure you're getting fiber from a variety of different sources, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, not only what's added into products.


Fiber has many different health benefits, such as helping to lower blood cholesterol, promote regularity, maintain a healthy colon, and regulate blood sugar levels.  Some research even suggests that fiber can help prevent weight gain, because it keeps you fuller longer. With all the new research coming out on the health benefits of fiber, it is no wonder why many manufacturers are adding it to their products.


According to the Food Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, there are two types of fiber: dietary and functional.  Dietary fiber consists of non-digestible carbohydrates that are found intact in plants. Functional fiber consists of isolated non-digestible carbohydrates that can be artificially made and are added to products to have physiological effects in humans. Total fiber is the sum of dietary and functional fiber.
 

Even though the addition of some fiber to products is likely better than none, little research to date has studied the physiological effectiveness of fiber supplementation. So if you are going to purchase fiber-added products, make sure you still obtain other sources of fiber naturally found in food throughout the day.

The Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) for total fiber are as follows:

Males 19-50 years: 38 g/day

Males 50-70: 30 g/day

Females 19-50 years: 25 g/day

Females 50-70:  21 g/day


To add more fiber to your diet when dining out at restaurants:
 

  • Opt for whole grain choices of breads and pastas such as the Charred Tomato Pasta with whole wheat pasta at bd’s Mongolian Grill
  • Choose whole grain dishes and sides such as the brown rice at China House Express
  • Add extra vegetables with salads and/or double vegetables as a side such as the fresh fish choices with broccoli and garden salad at Red Lobster
  • Enjoy a simple dessert with fresh fruit such as the fresh fruit cup at Boudin SF


How do you make sure to get your recommended fiber each day?

 

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