Inadequate Fiber Intake

Inadequate Fiber Intake: Overview

Fiber is the material that gives plants texture and support; it is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested but remains an essential part of a healthy diet.  Adults need 25-35gm of dietary fiber each day, yet the majority of us only get half this amount.  For children over the age of two, a simple rule of thumb is the child's age plus 5, equals the grams of fiber needed daily.  A diet rich in fiber may help to manage and protect against numerous diseases and help to promote regular bowel movements.

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Treatment and Prevention

To get enough fiber in your diet, include at least five servings of fruit and vegetables and at least five servings of whole grain breads or cereals daily.  Take the time to read nutrition labels.  Look for whole grains listed in the ingredients list and check out the dietary fiber content on the nutrition information label.  Try not to rely on just one high fiber food such as bran to increase your fiber intake.  Choose from a variety of high fiber foods to ensure you are getting both types of fiber and their individual health benefits.

The key to enjoying fiber and reaping its full benefits is to introduce fiber gradually.  Add a new high fiber food every few days.  In addition, make sure to consume adequate water to aid in digestion and prevent side effects such as gas and bloating.  Keep your body well hydrated with 6-8 glasses of fluid daily.  Include a glass of water with each meal and snack and drink extra water with coffee, alcohol and sweet or salty foods.

Conditions that suggest Inadequate Fiber Intake:

Digestion

Symptoms - Female

Cysts in breasts

Fibrocystic breast disease has been linked to constipation and to diets low in fiber.

Tumors, Malignant

Colon Cancer

Low fiber intakes have been strongly linked to an increased risk for developing colon cancer.

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Risk factors for Inadequate Fiber Intake:

Supplements and Medications

Counter-indicators

Symptoms - Female

History of cysts in breasts

Fibrocystic breast disease has been linked to constipation and to diets low in fiber.

Symptoms - Food - Intake

Counter-indicators
Counter-indicators

Recommendations for Inadequate Fiber Intake:

Diet

Dairy Products Avoidance

Consider replacing a significant amount of the dairy products in your diet with high-fiber foods such as those made from fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans or grains.

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