I have a problem with constipation for the last year, and I am tired of taking laxatives. Recently, I read that I should be eating 35 grams of fiber per day! That seems impossible!
Fiber is a general term referring to cellulose, lignin, and other structures in plant foods that pass through the digestive tract essentially unchanged. There are two types of fiber: soluble which simply means it dissolves in water and insoluble, which does not absorb water. The Daily Reference Intake (DRI) for fiber is 20-35 grams per day, but most Americans get about half that amount.
The health benefits of fiber include: regular bowel movements, lower cholesterol levels, helps stabilize blood sugar levels, and helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Increasing fiber in your diet is as easy as 1-2-3.
- eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.
- Choose whole grains - bran cereals, whole wheat bread. When eating pasta, follow the 50/50 rule: 50% white pasta, 50% whole wheat pasta.
- Make beans or legumes a staple in your diet; eat at least two servings per week.
It is important to increase fiber slowly. Start with a goal of 10 grams per day, then gradually work up to 20 grams per day. Finally, increase your fiber intake to 25-35 grams per day. Too much fiber too soon may create gas and discomfort. You should also drink plenty of water or decaffeinated beverages each day.