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