Fiber is an important part of our daily diet. The Institute of Medicine recommends that women consume between 21-26 grams and that men consume between 30-38 grams of fiber daily. Despite these recommendations, new marketing research from Mintel, a leading market research company, suggests that Americans are not consuming enough fiber in their diets. According to a press release, this market analysis of dietary fiber intake revealed:
- Only 20% of consumers look for and purchase products with added health claims, suggesting that only a small number of consumers are looking for fiber-enriched products.
- 25% of survey respondents think fiber is only needed for individuals with digestive difficulties.
- 22% of consumers are unaware of the health benefits of dietary fiber intake.
- The market research suggests that the prevalence of inadequate fiber intake might be due to the number of people (27%) who are under the impression that fiber-rich foods taste poorly.
Considering the importance of dietary fiber for human health and well-being, the results of this survey are unsettling. While no final numbers were provided in the press release, this survey suggests that a pretty large percentage of the American population are not getting enough fiber in their diet. Research suggests that getting enough fiber in the diet appears to reduce the risk of developing various health conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, constipation, and diverticulitis. In fact, the U.S. FDA has issued a health claim for dietary fiber and heart disease that states "diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in fruits, vegetables, and grain products that contain some types of dietary fiber, particularly soluble fiber, might reduce the risk of heart disease, a disease associated with many factors".
Based on the importance of dietary fiber, it is imperative that we all make sure to consume enough each day. Small changes in dietary habits can make a big difference in regards to dietary fiber consumption. Simple ways to increase our dietary fiber intake include:
- Snacking on raw vegetables instead of less healthy options
- Getting our fruit serving each day through whole fruits instead fruit juices
- Replacing refined grains (white bread, white rice, etc) with whole grain products (whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc.)
- Looking for fiber-enriched products when grocery shopping
So the next time you are planning a meal or snack, remember to include fiber-rich options.
Aaron Tabor, MD
Diet, Anti-Aging, and Nutritional Cosmetic Expert
Author of Dr. Tabor's Diet
and FIGHT NOW
Learn more about Dr. Tabor's diet and anti-aging research at www.DrTabor.com
Learn more about Dr. Tabor's breast cancer prevention book at www.fightBCnow.com