While dietary fiber can minimize constipation and help with hemorrhoids, it also can reduce obesity and lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol level.
“Most Americans take in about 50 percent less than the dietary guideline requirements for fiber intake per day,” says Stephen Nagy, MD, internal medicine physician at Physicians Park Primary Care and Immediate Convenient Care. “This is partly due to the fact that we eat too much fast food and processed food. Those foods are loaded with starches and fats that are replacing our fiber intake.”
Men younger than 50 should be consuming 38 grams of fiber per day, while women should have 25 grams. Men and women over 50 should have 30 and 21 grams, respectively. To add more fiber into your diet, try eating whole bran cereal with at least five grams of fiber per serving and adding more beans and nuts to your meals and snacks.
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