Dietary Fibers: Daily Requirements

Dietary fibers are good for us and should be ingested daily.  Despite great variety of dietary fiber rich foods, most people do not meet their daily requirements, resulting in chronic constipation, poor bowel movement, dehydration, hemorrhoids and even diverticulitis. Poor digestion and toxin buildup leads to stomach pain, impaired waste removal and destabilization of sugar levels. Certainly neither a pleasant feeling nor one that anyone cares to experience again and again. Especially, as it is so very preventable.

Solution is simple: Ingest recommended amount of dietary fibers every day.

Now let’s see how much fiber we actually need.

Recommended daily dietary fiber intake varies according to gender, age and number of calories consumed.

Roughly, for every 1000 calories consumed we should ingest 14 grams of dietary fiber. Now, this does mean go calorie crazy trying to get that fiber in, and then blame poor fiber for the weigh gain. No, there are a lot of low calorie, low fat foods packed with fiber. If we have to eat more to get our fiber, a half an hour walk, a nice jog, some weight training, dancing, even playing with kids, will spend enough energy to balance out caloric intake. Some physical activity is essential.

In terms of gender, men generally need 30% more dietary fibers than women. In term of age, men aged 19 to 50, pregnant and lactating women have the highest dietary fiber needs.

For children aged 1 to 3, recommended dietary fiber intake is 19 grams daily. For children 4-8 years of age, it is 25 grams daily.

For girls aged 9 to 18, recommended intake is 26 grams daily. For women aged 19 to 50, 25 grams daily. For women over fifty, 21 grams per day.  Pregnant women should ingest average of 28 grams per day and lactating women, 29 grams per day.

For boys aged 9-13, recommended intake is 31 grams daily. For ages 14-18, 38 grams daily. For men aged 19 to 50, 38 grams daily. For men over 50, 30 grams daily will do.

Whoa Nelly! Let’s take a breather.

So – just how do we make sure we have enough dietary fiber in our food?

Read the label. Usually, it lists grams of dietary fibers per serving. Then it is just down to basic math. Let’s see how that works.  One cup of cooked oatmeal has 4 grams of dietary fiber. Add some honey for a great breakfast. Have a healthy snack, a cup of blackberries, and get 7 grams of dietary fibers. Make your sandwich with two slices of whole-wheat bread, and guess what-you have just upped your fiber to 3.4 grams a sandwich. Serve with a side dish of a half cup split peas, 8.15 grams of dietary fiber, and a  half cup of shredded carrots, 3.2 grams of dietary fiber. Add it  up and you have 26 grams of fiber and before dinnertime. It is that easy.

But be careful. When increasing fibers in your diet, slow is the way to go. Sudden and sharp increases in dietary fiber intake may startle your body, which will in turn startle you right back with a diarrhea. Start slow and increase amount of dietary fiber in your diet gradually. Let your body naturally adjust to change.

While it is important to meet dietary fiber requirements, maximum recommended intake should not be exceeded as it may lead to excessive water biding, cholesterol over-absorption and mineral and vitamin loss. And that is not counting some less pleasant side effects such as excessive bloating and flatulence. Now, why would anyone want to put themselves in that position?

Where dietary fiber is concerned, moderation is a key, not just for ensuring  healthy bowel movement but also for sparing us embarrassing moments in social interactions.

For products that meet your recommended daily intake of dietary fibers, consult Herbal Diet product directory today.

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