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Over 50 - should you reduce your fiber?

Daily fiber intake seems to be on every doctor's recommendation list these days. The Institute of Medicine recommends daily fiber intake of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men through age 50. After age 50, recommended daily fiber intake is 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men.

Eat Fiber
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Here's the catch. The grams of fiber is reduced because supposedly we eat less when we get older. Hmm, not sure where The Institute of Medicine gathered their facts, but if 50 is the new 30 then our appetite might increase as we age.

This is why no one should reduce their fiber intake ever. In fact if you have stomach issues, ulcers, IBS, or constipation what is recommended, up to 40 grams of fiber intake a day. Author and Trainer Bob Harper suggests get in 40 grams of fiber. His suggestion: read your nutrition facts on your foods and start adding them up. Great sources of fiber: raspberries, apples w/skin, beans, bran cereal, peas, oats and brown rice….YUM…eat up!

Why is fiber important? Fiber is beneficial to our health because it encourages colon health, prevents constipation, prevents cardiovascular disease, prevents type 2 diabetes, and prevents certain cancers. Researchers believe dietary fiber helps promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon, which is also protective against cancer.

Simple diet adjustments can help you reach your goal:

  • Substitute your fruit juices for whole fruit.
  • Switch your white bread or bagel to whole grain bread.
  • Choose oatmeal or fiber enriched cereal.
  • Instead of cooking fattening meats, you can increase your fiber intake by consuming more beans, lentils, and whole grains. As for soup, try switching from meat and cream stews to bean chilies and lentil soups.
  • Who doesn't love chips or crackers? Raw veggies and mixed nuts can give you the same feel while your snack.

Tasty eats that contains plenty of fiber:

  • Hummus, rich in fiber, is also rich in protein, it can help fight hunger cravings and balance blood sugar levels. This could help curb excessive snacking.
  • Artichokes are an excellent choice to add fiber to your diet without unwanted sugar. A cup of cooked globe artichoke hearts provides you with 14.4 grams of dietary fiber and less than 2 grams of sugar. If you have not eaten artichokes in the past, try them with vinaigrette dressing, lemon juice or a low-calorie sauce. Artichoke hearts also add an interesting culinary twist to salads and vegetable dishes.
  • Green vegetables - good all the way around.
  • Nuts have dietary fiver and protein. Try including some of these high-fiber, low-sugar nuts as snacks or sprinkle them on salads, cereals or vegetable dishes for a change of pace. Roasted pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, contain 14.8 grams of fiber and less than 3 grams of sugar per cup. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds make good snacks and add a flavor twist to salads and other dishes.

Okay now that you're all over the fiber intake, you can track yours with Fiber-o-Meter.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.

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