Despite the fact that fiber doesn't contain any calories and has numerous health benefits, Americans tend to eat only about 15 grams per day, which is barely half of what is recommended. We believe that fiber is truly one of our best friends in health, so let us introduce you.
Fiber is a broad term used to describe a really special group of carbohydrates. Unlike other forms of carbohydrate, fiber isn't something our bodies can digest—and the fact that it's indigestible gives it unique health properties compared with other nutrients. Although there are numerous types of fiber, the two main types are insoluble and soluble1,2.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve readily in water. It includes cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignins and is found mostly in the bran portion of whole grains such as brown rice and wheat.
Soluble fiber tends to swell and form a gel when mixed with water (such as in your intestine) and includes pectins, gums, and mucilages. Bacteria in the large intestine also easily metabolize soluble fiber. Oats, apples, bananas, barley, and many beans are great sources of soluble fiber.
The Institute of Medicine recommends that women age 50 and younger eat at least 25 grams of total fiber per day, and men in the same age group at least 38 grams per day. Women over age 50 should eat at least 21 grams per day, and men over 50 at least 30 grams per day 5.
When it comes to fiber sources, plant foods really shine. Whole grains and beans are perhaps the most often overlooked terrific sources of fiber. Fruits and vegetables are also great choices when trying to increase your fiber fill. Keep in mind that animal foods, for the most part, are devoid of any fiber.