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Love Fiber, Love Longer!

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If you love life and want to hang around for a very long time, there are many lifestyle habits you will want to practice on a regular basis. Some of these healthy habits may be hard and some may be easy, but one of the easiest is to eat more fiber.

An analysis by the National Institutes of Health of many scientific studies on the effects of nutrition on health has found a direct link between dietary fiber and a reduced risk of death from cardiovascular, infectious and respiratory diseases, as well as a reduced risk of death from any cause.

Dietary fiber is the non-digestible form of carbohydrates and lignin naturally found in plants. Not all types of fiber proved to be equally protective. Fiber from grains showed the strongest association with reduced mortality, while only a weak association was seen for fiber from beans and vegetables and none for fruit fiber. Of course, these foods have many other very healthy ingredients necessary for long life.

How much fiber do you need to reduce your risk of death? The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend at least 14 grams of fiber daily per 1,000 calories consumed, or about 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. Dietary fiber consumption above these levels provides additional reduction in mortality risk. Most Americans fall far short of those goals, averaging only 15 grams daily.

To add up the amount of dietary fiber in your daily diet, you have to read the labels, which will give you the number of grams of dietary fiber in a serving. The most common foods high in dietary fiber are whole grain cereals, whole wheat bread, oats, and speciality grains like quinoa.

Love life, and learn to love the foods that will give you a long and healthy life to love.