Dietary fiber is the indigestible part of the food that is taken from fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains. Fiber can be of two kinds, soluble and insoluble. Collectively this dietary fiber can yield various health benefits such as resolve digestive problems, lower the risk of heart disease and regulate blood glucose levels.
The dietary requirement for fiber per day for individuals can vary based on a number of things but first let us take a quick look at the two types of fibers available. This type of fiber easily dissolves in water and is beneficial in lowering blood sugar levels as well as blood cholesterol. Soluble fiber can most often be derived from foods like peas, beans, barley, oats, and fruits like apples, pears and peaches with skin among others. Insoluble fiber: the second type of fiber helps in boosting the movement of food through the digestive canal and resolves digestive issues. This type of fiber is helpful for people who may suffer from concerns like constipation and bloat. Insoluble fiber can be sourced from foods like wheat bran, whole wheat flour, nuts, beans and vegetables like green beans, cauliflower and potatoes among many others.
Certain food like beans and oatmeal contain both types of fiber but the quantity of each type will differ in different plants. To compensate fully for fiber per day, it is recommended to eat a variety of fiber dense foods.
How many grams of fiber should you have a day?
According to the guide to daily fiber consumption, the amount of dietary fiber needed by individuals depends on their age as well as their gender. For instance, the guide recommends consuming between 30 and 38 grams of fiber a day for men and 25 grams of fiber a day for women between the ages of 18 and 50. For women older than 50 years of age, the daily fiber recommendation goes up to 21 grams a day.
Another way to calculate how many grams of fiber per day is to consume fourteen grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in the diet.
How to make sure to get the right amount of fiber
While fiber intake is important, it needs to be consumed in the right amount as too much fiber can also cause distress. Some ways to gauge fiber per day can include the following tips:
Space out portions: What this means is that instead of trying to have your daily recommended dose of fiber at one time, try to space out fiber consumption. So instead of eating hearty cereals at breakfast to make for fiber consumptions, aim for including some fiber content in every meal. Large amounts of fiber consumed at one time can easily tax the digestive system and cause gastrointestinal discomfort.
Increase fiber intake at a gradual pace: For people trying to increase their daily dose of fiber, it is important to remember that when it comes to ingesting fiber it is better to take your time. With the increased amounts of fiber in the diet, the gut can become overtaxed easily and cause discomfort. If discomfort is experienced, it may be a sign to stop adding more fiber.
Keep well hydrated: A very important consideration when figuring out how many grams of fiber to have per day is to make sure that you are also drinking plenty of fluids. Fiber intake should ideally correspond to the fluid intake as the more fiber is consumed, the more fluid is needed for proper digestion.
Combine proteins and carbs with high fiber foods: Eating a protein or a carb with a fiber dense food can help you feel full longer so that you do not need to add additional fiber to the diet. Plus, food combination is also an effective way to promote optimal digestion. For instance, combining a chicken fillet with a green salad and a baked sweet potato can yield sufficient fiber along with essential vitamins and minerals but not too much fiber to make the stomach uncomfortable.
Can you take too much fiber?
.For people who consume whole fruits such as fruits and vegetable beans and whole grains on a regular basis, compensating fiber on a daily basis may not be an issue. They will likely be getting enough fiber with their regular meals. And getting too much necessarily does not equate better.
If anything, including too much fiber in the diet, can actually cause certain uncomfortable symptoms. Typically, these may include gas and bloating. When looking at fiber, remember that if too much insoluble fiber moves through the body without being digested, it can create more gas in the system.
Likewise, too much fiber may also cause loose stools and diarrhea if you are not careful. Loose bowel movements are often a sign that the food did not spend sufficient time in the digestive tract and can be a potential red flag for slowing down fiber intake.
Based on this information it may seem counterintuitive that too much fiber can also cause constipation. When figuring out how many grams of fiber are required per day, consider that when there is too much fiber in the system and not enough fluids, then the fiber soaks up all of the fluid presents in the digestive tract making the bowel movements hard to pass, resulting in constipation.
That is why fiber and fluid intake go hand in hand. When trying to increase fiber in the diet, also make sure to drink plenty of water.
Another consequence of increasing fiber intake while keeping hydration levels the same is dehydration. The same principle applies here as fiber uses up the water in your system, the internal organs can be left deprived of fluids that they need. The fiber soaks up the available fluids leaving the body dehydrated. So when deciding on how much fiber is needed per day, keep all these points in mind.
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