domingo, 12 de mayo de 2013

¿How much fiber should I have?

While the average intake of dietary fiber per day is 15g, we should eat 25 to 30g of fiber per day or  14g per 1,000 kcal, from fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grain breads, pastas, rice and cereals.

Men should eat at least 10g of fiber more than women. This is because males are at a higher risk for developing colon cancer, and there seems to be a link between the amount of fiber that people eat and their risk for certain cancers as colon cancer. Anyway men usually have higher calorie needs (around 1/3 more!!!), so as a proportion of their calories, you would see that the total grams of fiber goes up.

The major food sources of dietary fiber (accounting for 85% of the fiber) are:
  • Grain products:  Of this total, grain products account for more than a third of the fiber. Whole grain foods supply about 1-5g per serving with fiber amounts reaching 9g or more per serving for bran cereals. White flour is considered a major contributor, yet it has only about 40% of its original fiber content. One-half of grain intake should be whole grains.
  • Fruits and vegetables: They have around 1-4g per serving, depending on whether the skin is consumed or not.
  • Legumes and soy:  They provide 6-9g of fiber per 1⁄2-cup serving.
  • Nuts and seeds.
But, many of the foods that are large components of our diet, are actually quite low in fiber:
  • Most beverages
  • Dairy foods
  • Eggs
  • Meat and poultry
  • Oils and fats
You should add fiber-rich foods a little at a time to let your body get used to them. Too much fiber at one time may cause discomfort. Let your body adjust to the additional fiber gradually.  And make sure to drink plenty of water (six to eight glasses a day).

If you want to get all the health benefits from fiber I explained in the the previous post, but you don't know how to increase your intake of fiber, don't miss the next post where I'll give practical tips to get easily the 30g of fiber you need per day.