Why is fiber so important? How much do I really need?

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Are you eating enough fiber?Many of us don’t realize that we do not get enough fiber in our diet. Men need about 38 grams per day (ages 19-50) and women need about 25 grams per day (ages 19-50) Here is why fiber is so important.  A diet rich in fiber can:

  • Reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes

  • Lower the risk of several forms of cancer

  • Improve cholesterol and blood pressure

  • Help regulate your digestion

  • Help with weight loss. Fiber gives you that full feeling, so you may eat less.

I know what you’re thinking….easier said than done! Here are some tips to incorporate more fiber in your diet.

  • Eat more whole grain breads, cereals, pasta and rice

  • Eat more fruits and vegetables

  • Eat legumes (lentils, kidney beans, black beans, etc.)

  • Replace your white rice and pasta with brown rice and whole wheat pasta. If your family doesn’t go for this try mixing 1/2 brown and 1/2 white. They’ll catch on.

If you are not getting enough fiber in your diet, increase your fiber intake gradually and drink plenty of water.

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