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Are You Getting Enough Fiber In Your Diet?
Provided by the American Dietetic Association: Your Link to Nutrition & Health

It sounds easy enough, but studies show that many Americans aren't consuming enough high fiber foods each day. New recommendations from the National Institutes of Health now say women should be getting at least 25 grams a day, and men 38 grams a day. Chances are, according to experts at the American Dietetic Association, you may not be getting this amount.

"When I ask my clients to keep a food journal to chart how much fiber they've consumed each day, most of them are only consuming 10 grams or less each day," says Pittsburgh-based registered dietitian Leslie Bonci, an American Dietetic Association spokesperson and author of the upcoming book American Dietetic Association Guide to Better Digestion.

"Fiber is a key nutrient for the body. It may help reduce the risk for some chronic diseases, it aids in digestion and helps keep you regular but a person needs to eat the recommended amount to really reap the health benefits fiber can bring to your diet," says Bonci.

"You can add fiber to recipes by tossing in some brown rice or bulgur wheat to casseroles, using whole-wheat flour, sprinkling some fresh or dried fruit on your cereal in the morning or adding some nuts or seeds to a salad."

During National Nutrition Month® 2003, the American Dietetic Association suggests some simple ways to incorporate dietary fiber into your diet. Figures are for total grams of fiber.

Apple 3.7   1/2 cup baked beans 6.3
Banana 2.7   1/2 cup lentils 7.8
1/2 cup blueberries 2.0   1/2 cup soybeans 5.4
Orange 3.1   Whole-wheat bread slice 2.0
1/2 cup raspberries 4.2   1/2 cup brown rice .8
1/2 cup broccoli 2.8   1 ounce 100% bran cereal 9.7
1/2 cup brussel sprouts 3.8   1 ounce bran flakes 4.7
Carrot 2.2   1/2 cup oatmeal 2.0
Tomato 1.4   1/4 cup peanuts 3.4
3 cups air-popped popcorn 3.6   1/4 cup sunflower seeds 3.4

With nearly 70,000 members, the Chicago-based American Dietetic Association is the nation's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA serves the public by promoting optimal nutrition and well-being.

National Nutrition Month®, created in 1973 celebrates its 30th anniversary in March 2003 by promoting healthful eating and providing practical nutrition guidance.


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