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Easy Ways to Add More Fiber to Your Diet

Easy Ways to Add More Fiber to Your Diet

Eating the optimal amount of fiber can help stave off disease. Learn how to boost your daily intake.

You’ve hit the Mega Millions jackpot of meta-studies. But while January 1, 2019, saw a winning ticket for $425 million (it hit that sum just about two months after the record-breaking $1.527 billion prize), this meta-study took a bit longer to make its splash.

The mega-paper in the journal The Lancet, “Carbohydrate Quality and Human Health,” covers 40 years of data. The aim? To let you know what’s the right amount of daily fiber to help stave off cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found 25 to 29 g of dietary fiber daily produced the best outcomes. Folks consuming that much were 15 to 30 percent less likely to die prematurely from all causes and had a 16 to 24 percent lower incidence of heart disease, stroke, colon cancer and type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, the average American consumes only 15 g a day.

How to up your intake?
Replace refined grains with 100 percent whole grain breads and cereals, and eat them the When Way. Tip: Cook whole-grain pasta, sweet potatoes and other starches in the evening, then eat ‘em for breakfast or lunch the next day.

Other ways: The American Academy of Family Physicians suggests you aim for 2 cups of fruits and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables daily; eat 1/2 cup cooked beans daily. Your goal, they say, is to take in 5 grams of fiber in every serving of plant-based food you eat.

Medically reviewed in October 2019.

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