What Is a High Fiber Diet?
Do your eating patterns reflect a high fiber diet? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 30 to 38 grams of dietary fiber each day for men, and 21 to 25 grams for women. Chances are you may be falling short—in 2015, the Academy found that Americans typically eat 17 grams per day, and stressed the importance of eating more high fiber fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Everyone can benefit from eating more fiber throughout the day, whether it’s at breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Jamie Vespa, MS, RD, says, “High fiber foods are excellent sources of healthful, disease-fighting nutrients and phytochemicals. Consuming these foods often can help lower your risk of heart disease, reduce systemic inflammation, and aid in weight management.”
Fiber is a complex carbohydrate found in the cell walls of all plant-based foods. While the body converts other carbohydrates such as starch into simple sugars for energy, it’s not able to fully break down fiber. Fiber actually passes through most of your body’s digestive system undigested until it reaches the large intestine, or colon. Depending on its function in the digestive system, fiber can be soluble, insoluble, or prebiotic, and is found in these categories of plant-based foods:
Nuts and Seeds