While we obsess about carbs and protein, we’ve pretty much ignored this key food …
By Julia Belluz, Jul 15, 2019
| voxmedia.com – When we fret about the deterioration of the American diet, we tend to focus on the excessive amounts of sugar, salt, and calories we’re now eating.
What we don’t talk about: an important ingredient that’s gone missing as we’ve been filling our plates with more chicken and cheese.
Fiber. Only 5 percent of people in the US meet the Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily target of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.
That amounts to a population-wide deficiency — what nutritionists call the “fiber gap.”
“People are so busy avoiding carbs, they forget that these foods give [them] important dietary components,” said nutritionist Julie Jones, of St. Catherine University.
Fiber is the closest thing we have to a true superfood — or super-nutrient since it’s a part of so many different foods.
Eating a fiber-rich diet is associated with better gastrointestinal health and a reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, high cholesterol, obesity, type 2 diabetes, even some cancers.
That’s because fiber is amazingly helpful in many ways: It slows the absorption of glucose — which evens out our blood sugar levels — and also lowers cholesterol and inflammation …
If fiber were a drug, we’d be all over it. But the average American gets just 16 grams per day — half of what we should be eating.
A big reason for that has to do with what we now eat. Instead of munching on fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds, more than half of the calories Americans consume come from ultra-processed foods.
On any given day, nearly 40 percent of Americans eat fast food.
These prepared and processed meals tend to be low in fiber, or even fiber free. This Is What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Fast Food
(A cup of cooked oatmeal has 4 grams of fiber and a pear has 6 grams, while a McDonald’s hamburger has one gram and soda has none.)
This pattern of eating is not just leading to weight gain and obesity-related health issues … Read more.