Fiber is not digestible by humans, and in general, it does not provide nutrients or calories except when it is broken down to some extent by intestinal bacteria. There are two types of fiber: insoluble fiber and, the more beneficial form, water-soluble fiber that absorbs large amounts of water. Both types of fiber provide bulk and other benefits that aid digestive tract function and health. Most plants contain some of
each type of fiber. Fiber is present in fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes, but not in meats. Soluble fiber is the predominant form found in legumes, barley, oats, and fruits. Insoluble fiber (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin) is the predominant form found in wheat, other whole grains, and some vegetables. The Institute of Medicine recommends an intake of 30-38 grams of fiber per day for men and 21-25 grams per
day for women, but the average American consumes about 15 grams of fiber a day.
High fiber consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. A study of people over age 65 found that the fifth of the study participants with the highest intake of fiber was at a 21% lower risk of a CVD event than the lowest fifth. A meta-analysis of 193 studies involving 135 million person-years of observation published in 2019 in Lancet found that a high intake of dietary fiber from whole grains and other sources is associated with a wide array of health benefits.People who consumed the most fiber (25 to 30 grams a day or more) had a 15% to 30% lower death rate, and a lower incidence of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colorectal and breast cancer than people who ate the least fiber (less than about 15 grams a day). High fiber intake was also linked to healthy biomarkers, including lower blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and body weight. In absolute terms, this translated to about 13 fewer death per 1000 participants over the duration of the
studies. There is little doubt that fiber is good for health.
This blog presents opinions and ideas and is intended to provide helpful general information. I am not engaged in rendering advice or services to the individual reader. The ideas, procedures and suggestions in that are presented are not in any way a substitute for the advice and care of the reader’s own physician or other medical professional based on the reader’s own individual conditions, symptoms or concerns. If the reader needs personal medical, health, dietary, exercise or other assistance or advice the reader should consult a physician and/or other qualified health professionals. The author specifically disclaims all responsibility for any injury, damage or loss that the reader may incur as a direct or indirect consequence of following any directions or suggestions given in the book or participating in any programs described in this blog or in the book, The Building Blocks of Health––How to Optimize Your Health with a Lifestyle Checklist (available in print or downloaded at Amazon). Copyright 2020 by J. Joseph Speidel,