Most Americans do not get enough fiber in their diets. It is recommended that men consume 38 grams of fiber per day and women consume 25 grams of fiber per day. Fiber helps to prevent the onset of metabolic syndrome, marked by too much belly fat, high triglycerides, low beneficial HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high blood sugar. Ultimately, eating enough fiber can also help to prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
Fiber: Different types and benefits
Fiber is a carbohydrate that your body cannot break down, so it passes through the body undigested. It comes in two varieties: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, wheat cereals, and vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes. Soluble fiber sources include barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, and fruits such as apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears. Both types have been linked to heart health.
Fiber’s role in preventing heart disease is thought to stem from its ability to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol. It also fills you up, which helps you eat less and perhaps lose weight.
A label can claim a food is a “good source” of fiber if it delivers 10% of your daily dose of fiber-about 2.5 grams per serving. The terms “rich in,” “high in,” or “an excellent source of” fiber are allowed if the product contains 5 or more grams of fiber per serving. Spooning up a bowl of high-fiber cereal is one of simplest ways to reach your fiber target. Look for brands with at least 6 grams of fiber per serving. Your best bet for bread? Look for the words “100% whole wheat” or “100% whole grain” on the label and at least 3 grams of fiber per slice.
See below a table listing great sources of fiber rich foods!