STEALTH WAYS TO SNEAK MORE FIBER INTO YOUR DIET.

Muscle & Performance - - Roughing It - BY MATTHEW KADEY, MS, RD

As the brunt of potty jokes, fiber may not be as sexy as a topic of con­ver­sa­tion on gym floors as pro­tein. But in the pur­suit of bet­ter health and a physique as lean as a race­horse, it’s no less im­por­tant. That’s be­cause di­etary fiber per­forms some pretty amaz­ing func­tions in your body when you get enough. // By squash­ing hunger pangs and im­prov­ing blood sugar con­trol, fiber can be an im­por­tant ally in the bat­tle of the bulge. When peo­ple in a Univer­sity of Mas­sachusetts Med­i­cal School study were en­cour­aged to sim­ply eat 30 grams of fiber or more a day, they shed al­most as much weight as those fol­low­ing a more com­pli­cated diet. Other re­search has linked a high-fiber diet with im­proved sleep qual­ity, bet­ter blood pres­sure num­bers, less risk for di­a­betes and fewer in­stances of cer­tain can­cers. It’s no won­der then that an Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Epi­demi

ol­ogy study found that peo­ple who eat an av­er­age of 27 grams of fiber per day were 23 per­cent less likely to die of any cause than those who con­sumed a mere 15 grams. And, of course, there is that whole thing about keep­ing your bow­els mov­ing smoothly. // But if you’re like most Amer­i­cans, chances are you’re fail­ing mis­er­ably when it comes to eat­ing enough fiber. Women need 25 grams of fiber per day and men should shoot for 38 grams, ac­cord­ing to the In­sti­tute of Medicine. But sur­veys say many of us are lucky to get even half of what’s needed. // This may leave you think­ing that you have to drown your pro­tein shakes in Me­ta­mu­cil to get enough fiber. Not so! Just a few sim­ple high-fiber ad­di­tions to the foods you al­ready eat can re­ally add up over the course of a day. Here’s how to crush your daily fiber quota.

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