Know why to eat fiber and what is the ideal daily amount

That fibers are essential nutrients to regulate appetite and for the proper functioning of the intestine, people already know. But the interference they can play in preventing various diseases is still not as popular.

A study commissioned by the World Health Organization (WHO), published by The Lancet magazine , sought to review the benefits of fiber and people’s consumption habits, in order to understand what is the daily amount needed.

The research was based on the analysis of more than 180 observation studies, in addition to 50 clinical trials from the last 40 years.

According to the survey data, people who consume fiber have a 15% to 30% reduction in the risk of premature mortality related to cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and colorectal cancer than people who do not consume this nutrient or consume in very low quantities.

People who were within that percentage in reducing the risk of disease maintained a daily intake of 25g to 29g of fiber.

According to the study, with a diet rich in fiber, the risk of stroke was 22% lower. For coronary heart disease the chances drop by 30%, with a 16% lower risk for diabetes and colorectal cancer.


Why are fibers so important?

Fibers perform several important functions in the body and, thanks to studies that continue to be disseminated, more and more benefits of this nutrient are being discovered.

In addition to being associated with a reduction in cardiovascular disease, diabetes and colorectal cancer, fibers also help control cholesterol levels, contribute to lower blood pressure levels and help regulate appetite, as they provide greater satiety.

Some of the benefits of fiber occur, in part, because a portion of the fermentation of the components present in this nutrient takes place in the large intestine.

Consequently, there is a positive interference with the pH of the colon, the speed of intestinal transit and many other physiological functions of the organism.

Daily amount changes according to age

As important as knowing the benefits of a diet rich in fiber is knowing the proper amount that should be ingested a day, because excess is also bad.

In very high amounts (60g to 70g per day), the fibers can cause dehydration, bloating, colic, blockage of the intestine and even nutritional deficiencies, as they can end up impairing the absorption of minerals and vitamins .

But as said, this is only when in exaggerated amounts and without the correct intake of fluids.

Therefore, on average, consumption should be between 25g to 30g per day , for adults . However, in other stages of life, such as childhood and adolescence, consumption may be more reduced.

The daily amount indicated for children and adolescents may vary according to age and gender:

  • 1 to 3 years : 19g;
  • 4 to 8 years : 25g;
  • Girls from 9 to 13 years old : 26 g;
  • Boys from 9 to 13 years old : 31g;
  • Girls aged 14 to 18 : 26 g;
  • Boys from 14 to 18 years old : 38g.

However, consuming these quantities may not be so easy. To give you an idea, an apple of 100g has an average of 2.4g of fibers, and a banana of 120g has approximately 3g.

Therefore, it is important to maintain a varied diet and talk to a trained professional, such as a nutritionist, so that he can help you with this sum.

Fiber should be part of a healthy diet at any stage of life and it is since childhood that fiber-rich foods should be added to everyday life.

Beware of restrictive diets

Maintaining a very restricted diet can cause fiber intake to be insufficient to provide long-term benefits. A well-discussed example is the famous low carb diet, which has been gaining many followers.

The concern with diets like this is the fact that they restrict the consumption of carbohydrates , which ends up providing a lower intake of whole fibers.

Therefore, a healthier path would not be the one that deprives the individual of acquiring good amounts of the nutrient, which can be conflicting for people who take a more limited diet.

Therefore, before starting a diet , whatever it is, it is necessary to talk to a nutritionist, so that he can evaluate the amounts of this and other nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of your body.

How to increase fiber consumption?

There are some tips that can help you increase your fiber intake in a healthy way. It is advised, for example:

  • Put beans, lentils or chickpeas in salads;
  • During snacks, consume more nuts and fruits;
  • Eat five servings of fruits and vegetables during the day;
  • Replace bread, pasta and rice with the full version;
  • Opt for cereal for breakfast, such as porridge with oats or flaxseed.

Fiber-rich foods

When going to the supermarket or the fair, it is essential to take home good sources of fiber, such as:

  • Lentil;
  • Oat;
  • Rye flour;
  • Wholegrain breads;
  • Chard;
  • Broccoli;
  • Wheat bran;
  • Kale butter;
  • Sweet potato;
  • Avocado;
  • Apple;
  • Guava;
  • Orange;
  • Linseed;
  • Chestnut of Pará;
  • Raw coconut;
  • Peanut;
  • Pinto beans.

Having a healthy diet is essential to have energy on a daily basis, to maintain a healthy weight and also to prevent diseases. Thus, fibers must be present in our diet, so that the risks of various complications are less.

So, here’s the tip! If your diet is lacking in this nutrient, try to vary your diet even more. Also, how about visiting a nutritionist to find out what the best menu is according to your needs?