Report: Americans need more fiber in diet
September 2, 1997
Web posted at: 8:45 p.m. EDT (0045 GMT)
From Correspondent Linda Ciampa
(CNN) -- The next time you head into the kitchen to start
making a meal, think about adding some extra vegetables and
grains to the menu. A new report out this summer warns that
Americans aren't getting enough fiber.
According to the report from the American Heart Association,
Americans eat only about half the recommended amount of fiber.
"The recommendation is from between 25 to 30 grams of fiber a
day, and currently our intake is about 12 or 13 grams on an
average," said Linda Von Horn of the American Heart
Good sources of fiber include fruits and vegetables, beans,
lentils, brown rice, barley, bran cereal, oat bran, oatmeal,
whole wheat bread and wheat bran.
There are two types of fiber, and both are good for your
health. Soluble fiber can help lower blood cholesterol, while
insoluble fiber can reduce the risk of colon cancer. Eating a
variety of high-fiber foods will provide both types.
To get the recommended 30 grams of fiber, a typical day might
include these foods:
- One slice of whole wheat bread -- 2 grams
- Half a cup of bran cereal -- 13 grams
- One apple -- 3 grams
- One pear -- 4 grams
- Half a cup of beans -- 7 grams
But you can't just add fiber to a high-fat diet and expect
"The goal is to reduce the diet in total fat and saturated
fat, and replace some of those high-fat foods with high-fiber
foods," Von Horn said.
Supplements do provide fiber, but they lack
the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants of real food.
"The best sources of fiber come from food," Von Horn said.
"Taking a supplement or multiple vitamin can't replace the
damage of a poor diet."