A Modest Proposal: Increase Dietary Fiber in Processed Foods
Every day I am reminded to consume a baby aspirin to reduce the likelihood of a heart attack. Most of us have things that we consume regularly because of their health benefits such as omega3’s from fish oil or calcium supplements or a multivitamin. But what about dietary fiber? We have all been told that almost all Americans are not consuming enough fiber to obtain the benefits of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease,obesity and type 2 diabetes. In fact the AI (Recommended Daily Intake) is 14grams per 1000 calories,or 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men while the usual intake averages only 15 grams per day.
So what are the benefits of consuming more foods having more fiber in the form of whole grains,beans,peas,other vegetables and fruits and other sources of naturally occurring fiber? You will likely be consuming foods that are lower in calories and will contribute to the feeling of fullness or satiety.
However, even consuming more whole grains,bean and fruit may not be enough. The modest proposal. Look for foods with added bran or dietary fiber like oat or wheat fiber. These fibers have been refined to increase their dietary fiber content to over 90% and are designed to be added to familiar foods like cereals,breads,tortillas,chips,crackers,and muffins, increasing the per serving quantities by 25 to 30% without affecting taste or texture. As they absorb many times their weight in water, they can replace equal parts of either fat or flour in many baked good formulas while maintaining tenderness and good shelf life and not significantly increasing the cost of the baked good. Like many things we gauge, consuming good quality higher fiber content foods is another way to meet our healthier habits goals.
Contact one of us at SPI Group if you would like more information on dietary fiber.