Your body is a machine requiring fuel from carbohydrates, protein, and fat. All are important, but the focus here is carbohydrates. The Institutes of Medicine recommends adults get 45 to 65 percent of their total calories from carbohydrates. Within this group you’ll find fiber, a carbohydrate that can’t be broken down by the body. Instead of being used for energy or stored for later, fiber zips through the digestive tract undigested.
This won’t come as a surprise, but fiber is a big deal… a really big deal. Consider it your body’s broom, sweeping away all the bad things leaving you with a clean, healthy inside. Typically, when you think about fiber you think gut health. Improving conditions
such as GERD (heartburn), certain types of ulcers, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and constipation is just a small portion of how fiber promotes health. It also lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and improves immunity. Even more exciting, the Harvard Heart Letter reconfirmed fiber improves heart health through its ability to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. The benefits of fiber permeate the gut reaching into all areas of your health.
Getting Your Fill of Fiber
For men under the age of 50, the daily fiber recommendation is 38 grams. For men in their 50s and beyond, 30 grams per day is the goal. Women under 50 should aim for at least 25 grams of dietary fiber, while those over 50 need 21 grams. The reason the need decreases as you age is because your total calorie intake is also decreasing at this time.
While these goals may seem easy, Nutrition Reviews, found the average American is eating less than half of the recommendation! For a country riddled with metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and obesity this is terrible news. It is not that we are lacking carbohydrates, in fact, we eat too many of them. Part of the problem is the carbohydrate group is so vast. From sugary drinks to fresh produce, all fall into this controversial food group. However, in order to maintain good gut health, reduce your risk for disease, and lose weight you have the focus on the right carbs… the fiber-filled carbs.
Where’s the Good Stuff?
As a general rule of thumb, choose foods which are considered high fiber, meaning they contain at least 5 grams of fiber per serving. If you are a user of the 21 Day Body Makeover cleanse, you are already combining a professional-grade detox, healthy meal plans, and fitness routine that keeps your body clean and in optimal health. However, you need to always keep in mind where you can find fiber. Whole grain cereals can boast between six and 14 grams per servings while certain grains, such as barley, come to the table with 9 grams per serving. The most important thing is to go beyond the grains group to give you the fiber you need. Reach for vegetables, legumes, and fruits to reach your daily goal.