Daily Fiber Intake
It's That Vital

Americans' daily fiber intake can be described as inadequate. In fact, I think it's pitiful – and sad.

And that leads me to the SAD diet – the so-called Standard American Diet.

As you know, the vast majority of Americans eat this extremely unhealthy diet. It is almost devoid of any fiber.

The SAD diet is composed of mostly

  • animal flesh products, including eggs and dairy (no fiber in any of them)
  • highly processed "edible food-like substances" like refined grains, fried foods, sugary desserts (hardly any fiber)
  • sugary drinks (no fiber in sodas or alcohol)

If you're a senior who consumes these substances, your daily fiber intake is not very far from zero.


What Does It Mean To Your Senior Health?

The average American's daily fiber intake is less than 15 grams. The U.S. Department of Health and even the USDA recommend at least twice as much intake.

Today many – including me – encourage a much higher intake of dietary fiber.

According to research, our distant ancestors received up to 100 grams of fiber daily from the plants they ate. That's what the human digestive system evolved to thrive on - over the course of millions of years.

Fiber is present in all plant foods in varying amounts.

There are two kinds.

Most of your fiber intake comes from soluble (which dissolves in water) or insoluble (which does not dissolve in water – and is mostly indigestible) fiber.

These types of fiber serve many incredibly beneficial purposes such as

  • Removing toxins from your body
  • Preventing constipation - helps keep you regular
  • Greatly reducing the risk of diverticular disease
  • Regulating blood sugar - keeps it from spiking
  • Lowering LDL (low-density lipoprotein)
  • Lowering your risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and coronary heart disease

Fiber - working in synergy with other nutrients in a healthful plant-based diet - has also been shown to lower the risk of colorectal cancer and other gastrointestinal cancers.

Another benefit is that your daily fiber intake keeps you feeling full longer.

In fact, high-fiber foods can keep you from overeating.


What Are Some Of The Sources Of Fiber?

Good sources are beans and other legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits.

Did you know that raspberries have 8 grams of fiber per one cup?  

You can find more examples of these health-promoting foods on my pages on Power Foods and Detox Foods.

To assure yourself of an optimal intake of soluble and insoluble fiber, I recommend a greatly varied diet of whole plant-based foods.

It is best to get your fiber from real food rather than taking fiber supplements.


Increase Fiber Intake by Easing Into It

If you are on the SAD diet you may want to gradually replace the meats and other highly processed "edible food-like substances" with more of the plant foods that are so beneficial.

Drinking plenty of water is always a pretty good idea – not only with your daily fiber intake, but because it's important for your overall senior health.



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"It's never too late to be what you might have been."

-- George Eliot,           English novelist