The American Institute for Cancer Research states that eating a diet high in fiber can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. For every 10 grams of fiber consumed daily, the risk of being diagnosed with colorectal cancer is reduced by up to 10 percent.
So, how much fiber should you eat each day?
The daily recommendation for men ages 19 to 50 is 38 grams of fiber per day. For those men over the age of 50, it’s at least 30 grams daily. For women ages 19 to 50, the recommendation is around 30 grams. The daily amount for women over age 50 is as low as 25 grams.
Doesn't seem like much, right? Yet, American adults average only 15.7 to 17 grams of fiber per day.
What foods are high in fiber?
If you are looking for fiber-rich foods, focus on plants (fruits and veggies) and whole grains. Another way to get more fiber is to cut back on eating red meat and focus on eating small portions of lamb or pork instead.
Are there different types of fiber?
Yes, there are two: insoluble and soluble. Eating both types is important to maintain good digestive health.
Insoluble fiber helps move the food through the digestive system more quickly, cutting your risk for colon cancer. Insoluble fiber is found in whole wheat, bran, nuts and many vegetables.
Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. These foods include, oats, peas, apples, beans and citrus fruits.
To properly maintain your digestive health, gradually introduce the recommended fiber levels to you body. This will help your digestive system adapt. Start simple by filling two-thirds of your plate with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts and no more than one-third with animal protein such as poultry or lean red meat.
Need help with your diet?
For help developing a fiber-rich diet, contact a nutritionist at Community Health Network.