Being healthy is a lifetime pursuit – not a destination. This month, I will be sharing tips and information on how to be – and stay — healthy.
Are you getting enough fiber in your diet?
Guidelines for daily fiber intake are issued by The Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Science and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They are based on age, gender, and energy intake. Yet even with many good sources of fiber available, Americans consume less than half of the recommended daily fiber amount:
Women ages 19 -50: 25 grams per day
Women ages 51 and older: 21 grams per day
Men ages 19-50: 38 grams per day
Men ages 51 and older: 30 grams per day
Another general guideline is to get 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your diet.
Fiber has several health benefits. It maintains regularity and is good for treating occasional constipation. It helps to maintain healthy glycemic control. And it lowers cholesterol which in turn reduces the risk of coronary disease.
What are some good natural sources of fiber?
(3.7 grams fiber – 15% of women’s daily intake of fiber; 10% for men)
(1.3 grams fiber – 5% daily intake for women; less than 4% for men)
1 cup cooked brown rice
(3.5 grams of fiber- 14% daily intake for women; 9% for men)
1 ounce nuts
(2.6 grams fiber- 10% daily intake for women; almost 7% for men)
At his last colonoscopy, my husband was found to have diverticulosis – small outpouchings (diverticula) in the the large intestine and colon. Aging causes the weakening of the walls of the colon and this weakening permits the formation of diverticula. If he doesn’t watch it, his condition can turn into the more serious diverticulitis. According to his doctor, the best way to avoid having his diverticulosis getting worse (aside from the impossibility of staying young) is by eating a proper healthy diet with plenty of fiber. Since his symptoms proved he wasn’t getting enough fiber in his diet (and neither was I), we’ve paid more attention to eating more fiber (which can be tricky given his allergy to wheat) and just to be sure, taking a fiber supplement every day. We’ve already noticed the benefit of regularity and can’t wait to see how it translates to our cholesterol numbers.
#16: Get and Stay Healthy: Eat Fiber
A diet rich in fiber helps maintain regularity and glycemic control and lowers cholesterol. It also staves off serious health problems like a perforated colon and heart disease.