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Digestive Wellness|Fiber Facts|Food & Nutrition

Closing the Fiber Gap: Why Americans Don't Get Enough Fiber

While the FDA recommends that women get 25 grams of fiber and men get 38 grams every day, most Americans don’t come near to those amounts. The difference between how much fiber people get and how much they’re supposed to get is known as the “fiber gap”—and 95 percent of people have a significant one. 

So what exactly is keeping so many Americans from experiencing the gut-benefiting goodness of fiber? Read on to learn why most people don’t get enough fiber, and how you can get more in your diet.

Why is fiber important?

Fiber refers to the carbohydrate component of plant-based food that we can’t digest. As it moves through your gut, it keeps things clean and healthy. In doing so, it aids our digestive and excretory processes. Yes, that means all things poop: getting enough fiber in your diet is one of the most efficient ways to stay regular and combat constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis, some cases of IBS, and so much more.

Taking a fiber supplement in capsule or powder form can give your diet the boost it needs.

We’re not exaggerating when we say “so much more.” Our guts influence many other systems and bodily functions, such as our cardiovascular and immune systems, as well as the health of our hair, skin, and nails. Doctors and dietary experts actually recommend it to aid with diabetes, high blood pressure, and weight management.

For this reason, a healthy gut can be a game-changer for our overall health, and fiber is one of the best ways to achieve this. 

Why don’t Americans get enough fiber?

Preference

Some Americans don’t get enough fiber because they don’t like foods that contain a lot of it, like certain fruits, vegetables, and grains. Unlike in other cultures, these ingredients aren’t as common in the typical American diet, so we tend to consume less fiber than others.

Convenience

Preparing healthy foods like those containing fiber can be less accessible and more time-consuming and expensive than foods that don’t have as many benefits. It can be easy to miss out on essential nutrients like fiber when trying to prepare meals the most convenient way possible.

Lack of Awareness

Did you know how much fiber the FDA recommends before reading this article? Plenty of Americans don’t get enough fiber because they simply aren’t aware of how much they should be consuming. 

How can I get more fiber in my diet?

High-Fiber Alternatives

You don’t have to completely revamp your diet in order to get more fiber. There are lots of foods that have versions with more fiber. For example, opt for whole wheat breads and pastas for fiber-packed alternatives to the white options. 

Also, eating just one more serving of fiber a day can greatly improve your intake. When preparing your plate, add an extra serving of a food with fiber. And don’t assume you have to go for bland bran and grains—there are plenty of delicious foods with fiber contents that may surprise you!

Fiber Supplements

Taking a fiber supplement in capsule or powder form can give your diet the boost it needs. Plus, taking them is much easier than preparing a high-fiber meal. Just be sure to confirm with your doctor that it’s right for you, as you would with any daily supplement, and consider natural versions. Bellway's powdered fiber supplements are made with psyllium husk, an organic source of fiber, along with zero sugar and no artificial ingredients, to keep good gut feelings at an all-time high.

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