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223 N. Van Dien Avenue Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Mailing Address:
The Valley Hospital
223 N. Van Dien Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450
Healthy Bites: January 2013

Have You Had Your Fiber Today?

The average American consumes only 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day. This falls short from the recommended 21 to 38 grams of fiber per day for those ages 19 and older. For children ages three to 18, just add “five” to their age to determine how much the child needs. So, a six-year-old child needs at least 11 grams of fiber per day (six plus five equals 11 grams).

Dietary fiber provides many benefits. It helps prevent constipation and is used in the treatment of diverticulosis, diabetes, and heart disease. Because high fiber foods make you feel fuller longer, it can help with weight control. A plant-based diet rich in fiber is also associated with a lower risk of certain cancers.

To increase the amount of fiber in your diet, try these simple steps:

  • Select high-fiber breakfast cereals that have at least 5 grams per serving.
  • Switch to whole grains.
  • Serve high fiber vegetables with meals and as snacks.
  • Incorporate more legumes into your meals, such as black beans, lentils, and chick peas.
  • Eat fruit at every meal.

Remember, add fiber gradually over a period of weeks to avoid abdominal discomfort. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water, which aids the passage of fiber through the digestive system.

Please call 201-634-5371 to schedule an appointment for individualized nutrition guidance.

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