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You can barely pick up a health magazine without reading an article about how wonderful fiber is.
Yet, many people struggle to consume the recommended amount of fiber.
Learn why eating fiber is so beneficial, how athletes should add fiber if they need more and what foods are rich sources of fiber.
Benefits of Fiber
Besides keeping you “regular,” why should you make sure that you’re eating enough fiber?
Fiber has a protective effect against cardiovascular disease in the overall population.
Dietary and supplemental fiber (intakes of 20–27 grams per day from whole foods, or up to 20 grams per day from supplements) may help with weight control.
There’s a clear association between a fiber-rich diet and a lower body mass index (BMI).
Many observational studies have found an association between high-fiber food consumption and reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
Fiber-rich foods tend to be concentrated sources of cancer-fighting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
How Much Fiber?
The Institute of Medicine recommends 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 kilocalories as an "adequate intake" for adults. This amount was derived from data on the relationship between fiber consumption and coronary heart disease risk.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends 25 g/day for women and 38 g/day for men.
Fiber for Athletes
If you’re an athlete or active person, there’s no need to eat excessive amounts of fiber. Instead, aim to consume the recommended adequate intake for the general population.
If you need to increase fiber intake to meet the adequate intake, do so on a rest day or after workouts. You should also increase fiber gradually, and make sure you drink a lot of fluids.
Pay careful attention to overall fluid intake, in order to prevent dehydration and/or constipation. Supplemental fiber should be avoided during activity and is not recommended during strenuous activity.
High-Quality, High-Fiber Choices
Adding fiber to the diet can be as easy as choosing nutrient-rich foods—such as legumes, whole grains and fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables—while avoiding nutrient-poor choices, such as soft drinks and processed foods.
Try the high-fiber options displayed in the bottom photo at left (click on the photo to enlarge).
More about Chris Tina Bruce
Chris Tina Bruce is a male-to-female transgender bodybuilder, spokesperson and fitness talent.
She is the founder of Be Bold Be Proud, a grassroots non-profit transgender equality organization. She is also the founder of Discover Health and Fitness, a freelance writer and the proud parent of two amazing children. She obtained her bachelor of science degree from Georgia State University, and is also a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer.
Chris Tina lives by some very simple rules and affirmations: All of life is a transition; where you are does not have to define who you will be and together we can cultivate change. Be Bold, Be Proud, Be Yourself.
For more information about Chris, her Fitness Fun Camps, private sessions, nutrition programs or next bodybuilding show, check out her website, check out the Hillcrest Fitness, follow her Facebook page, or on Twitter, or call (972) 989-6076.