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Daily fiber intake for women: The request could not be satisfied


Daily Fiber Recommendation for Women | Healthy Eating

By Bridget Coila Updated December 17, 2018

Fiber is sometimes referred to as “vitamin F” because of its importance to your overall health. Women’s fiber requirements are generally lower than men’s fiber requirements because women tend to consume fewer calories. How much fiber you need, and how to choose between different types of fiber, is based on your individual needs.

General Guidelines

If you want to ensure that you are getting enough fiber, you can use the general guidelines provided by the U.S. Institute of Medicine. It recommends 25 grams of fiber each day for women under the age of 50, and 21 grams of fiber each day for women over 50 years old.

Calculating Fiber Needs

If you want to get more specific, you can calculate the amount of fiber you need based on how much you eat. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should consume about 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you consume. Calorie needs are determined by your height, weight and activity level, so they can vary widely among women. Women in the U.S. average about 1,833 calories per day, which would mean that about 26 grams of fiber is needed each day. Any calorie intake over or under this amount will alter the total amount of fiber you need.


Fiber is indigestible, but it can have a big effect on your body. Insoluble fiber helps maintain your digestive tract and keeps you from becoming constipated. Soluble fiber is important for lowering cholesterol and may help keep blood sugar levels steady. While there are no official recommendations for the amount of each type of fiber you should get, it is best to choose from a variety of fiber sources so that you get some of both types in your diet. Most foods that contain fiber have both forms. However, some foods, such as oatmeal and beans, are particularly high in soluble fiber, while foods such as whole wheat and leafy green vegetables contain higher amounts of insoluble fiber.


Fiber can be found in whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and beans, so eating a healthy diet with plenty of these foods should provide enough fiber for your needs. Refined and processed foods, such as white bread and canned fruit, are low in fiber. If your diet does not naturally include enough fiber, you can take fiber supplements or add fiber to your meals in the form of psyllium or flaxseeds.

Closing America’s Fiber Intake Gap

Am J Lifestyle Med. 2017 Jan-Feb; 11(1): 80–85.

Communication Strategies From a Food and Fiber Summit

Quagliani Communications, Inc, Western Springs, Illinois (DQ)

The Kellogg Company, Battle Creek, Michigan (PFG)

Diane Quagliani, MBA, RDN, LDN, Quagliani Communications, Inc, 5313 Howard Avenue, Western Springs, IL 60558; e-mail: [email protected]

Received 2014 Dec 23; Revised 2015 Apr 22; Accepted 2015 Apr 23.

This article has been cited by other articles in PMC.


Adequate intake of dietary fiber is associated with digestive health and reduced risk for heart disease, stroke, hypertension, certain gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. According to consumer research, the public is aware of the benefits of fiber and most people believe they consume enough fiber. However, national consumption surveys indicate that only about 5% of the population meets recommendations, and inadequate intakes have been called a public health concern. To address the fiber consumption gap and formulate potential solutions, researchers, educators, and communicators convened at a Food & Fiber Summit on January 28, 2014, in Washington, DC. Panelists and attendees devised communication strategies to correct consumer misperceptions about fiber. These misperceptions include commonly held beliefs that all whole-grain foods are good sources of fiber and that foods with fiber are expensive, unpalatable, and complicated to prepare. To help close the fiber intake gap, nutrition and health educators can use communication strategies such as providing clear and concise information, recommending flavorful fiber-rich foods, and describing the benefits of adequate fiber intake. Several supporting messages were developed to effectively communicate about fiber. An example is to advise people to consistently check nutrition labels to find good sources of fiber.

Keywords: dietary fiber, whole grain, nutrition labeling, communication strategies

‘ . . . confusion among the public about what foods provide good sources of fiber and how much fiber to consume . . . ’

The role of dietary fiber to help promote good health and reduce risk for several chronic diseases is supported by years of dietary recommendations and a significant body of research.1-8 Fiber intake recommendations from the Institute of Medicine (IOM) range from 19 grams to 38 grams per day, depending on gender and age. 9 However, the vast majority of Americans fall exceedingly short of meeting these recommendations.10 The reasons are multifactorial and include confusion among the public about what foods provide good sources of fiber and how much fiber to consume, individual misperceptions that fiber recommendations are being met, and food trends such as the popularity of gluten-free diets, which are inherently low in dietary fiber.11-15

To address the fiber intake shortfall, a Food & Fiber Summit was held on January 28, 2014, in Washington, DC. The Summit convened nutrition researchers, educators, and communications experts to explore the issues behind the fiber consumption gap and devise practical solutions to help healthcare practitioners close the gap.

This article focuses on Summit outcomes concerning communication strategies to help people meet fiber intake recommendations.

The Fiber Consumption Gap: A Continuing Public Health Concern

The IOM defines total fiber as the sum of dietary fiber and functional fiber. Dietary fiber includes nondigestible carbohydrates and lignins that are intrinsic and intact in plants; functional fiber includes isolated, nondigestible carbohydrates that have beneficial physiological effects in humans. Common sources of intrinsic fiber include grain products, vegetables, legumes, and fruit.16 Many functional fibers are isolated from intrinsic sources and added to other foods.

The recommended daily Adequate Intake (AI level) established by the IOM is based on total daily fiber and does not differentiate between dietary and functional fiber.9

Both intrinsic fiber and functional fibers are associated with a host of potential health benefits, with varying effects depending on the source and specific type of fiber. The fiber component of foods is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, certain gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, and metabolic dysfunctions, including prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and colorectal, gastric, and breast cancers. Fiber also is associated with digestive benefits, such as increased stool bulk, decreased transit time, and fermentation by colonic microflora.1-8

Although adequate intake of all types of fiber is associated with many health benefits,1,2 an estimated 95% of American adults and children do not consume recommended amounts of fiber.10 According to 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, mean daily fiber intake is 16.2 grams,10 representing an increase of approximately 1 gram from 15.1 grams found in the 2001-2002 survey.17 The most recent estimates are significantly below daily intake recommendations from the IOM ().

Table 1.

Institute of Medicine Recommended Daily Intake for Fibera.

Age (years) Dietary Fiber DRI (g/d)
Children 01-03 19
04-08 25
Female 09-13 26
14-18 26
19-50 25
50+ 21
Male 09-13 31
14-18 38
19-50 38
50+ 30

Because of the significant gap between total fiber intake and fiber recommendations, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans have identified fiber as a “nutrient of concern” since 2005. The continuing low levels of fiber intake may be considered a public health concern in light of the health benefits related to adequate fiber intake.18,19

Economic benefits may result from improving dietary fiber intake. Recent economic modeling found that increasing dietary fiber consumption may lead to considerable annual savings for functional constipation-related health care costs. According to the analysis, an estimated $12.7 billion in direct health care costs related to functional constipation could be saved if all American adults increased dietary fiber intake by 9 grams per day to reach the US Food and Drug Administration Daily Reference Value of 25 grams per day.20,21 Just a 3-gram per day increase by half the adult population could save more than $2 billion.20

Consumers Recognize the Benefits of Fiber, but Mistakenly Believe They Consume Enough

Research indicates that many people understand the health benefits of fiber and strive to increase their fiber intake. 22 They also believe they consume enough fiber, despite evidence to the contrary.12 According to the 2013 Food and Health Survey conducted by the International Food Information Council, respondents identified several health benefits associated with fiber, including maintaining a healthy digestive system (85%), weight management (72%), heart health (52%), and healthy blood sugar (43%). In addition, nearly 7 out of 10 (68%) identified fiber as a food component that influences their decision of what packaged foods to buy. Six in 10 (62%) said they are making an effort to eat more fiber by consuming more fruits and vegetables (88%) and more foods with whole grains (78%).22 Other research conducted by the International Food Information Council indicates that two thirds (67%) of consumers believe they meet their fiber needs,12 in sharp contrast to 2009-2010 NHANES survey data indicating that only about 5% do so.10

Despite many consumers’ reported recognition of fiber’s health benefits and interest in consuming more fiber, the question remains as to why a significant and long-term fiber consumption gap exists. Speakers and attendees of the Food and Fiber Summit identified several potential barriers to adequate fiber consumption, which are described below.

Confusion About the Fiber Content of Foods: A Barrier to Meeting Recommendations

Confusion about what foods are good sources of fiber may hinder the ability to meet intake recommendations and achieve expected health benefits. A recent Omnibus Survey indicates that many people look to foods labeled “whole grain” as a source of fiber.11 Additionally, both the 2005 and 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming at least half of all grains as whole grains to increase fiber intake.18,19 However, although whole grains usually provide more fiber than refined grains, the naturally occurring fiber content of whole grains varies widely (), as does the fiber content of foods made from whole grain ingredients. Furthermore, not all products labeled as whole grain meet the Food and Drug Administration definitions for good source of fiber (at least 3 grams per serving) or excellent source of fiber (at least 5 grams per serving). 21

Table 2.

Fiber Content of Several Whole Grainsa.

Fiber (g) per 100 gb
Barley (hulled) 17.3
Brown rice (medium grain) 3.4
Bulgur 12.5
Corn (yellow) 7.3
Oats 10.6
Rye 15.1
Sorghum (white) 6.7
Wheat (hard, white) 12. 2
Wild rice 6.2

An audit of the cereal aisle revealed that about one third (34%) of ready-to-eat cereals that carry a whole-grain claim are not a good source of fiber.23 Checking the Nutrition Facts panel for the fiber content of whole-grain foods can help consumers select those whole-grain foods that are good or excellent sources of fiber. However, the previously referenced Omnibus Survey indicates that only 1 in 4 (25%) consumers examine the Nutrition Facts panel every time they purchase whole-grain foods,11 and objective observational research in the grocery aisle suggests that less than 15% of shoppers look anywhere other than the front panel of the package when shopping.11 In addition, lack of regulation concerning the use of whole grain labeling may contribute to confusion about whole grains and fiber.24-26

As mentioned earlier, consumers mistakenly equate fiber and whole grains and rely on foods labeled “whole grain” as fiber sources. In the Omnibus Survey, two thirds (66%) of respondents identified as “making an effort to add fibers to their diets” said a reason to eat more whole grains was “to get more fiber” and 85% expect products labeled “whole grain ingredients” or “made from whole grains” to be good or excellent sources of fiber.11 In addition, nearly 8 of out 10 (78%) of all respondents agreed that foods made from whole grains are one of the best sources of fiber, and 7 out of 10 (69%) rely on foods made with whole grains for their daily fiber needs.11

Other Barriers to Meeting Fiber Recommendations

The growing popularity of gluten-free, wheat-free, and grain-free diets, which tend to limit or eliminate fiber-rich grains from the diet, may contribute to the fiber intake deficit.13-15

Summit panelists and attendees also noted several observed misperceptions among consumers that may contribute to low fiber consumption. These include beliefs that fiber-containing foods do not taste good, are expensive, and are time-consuming and complicated to prepare. Also noted was consumer hesitancy to eat foods with higher fiber content due to perceived and real negative digestive effects, such as intestinal gas.

Communication Strategies to Bridge the Fiber Intake Gap: Insights From the Summit

During breakout sessions, attendees considered Summit learnings to propose communication strategies and messages that health care practitioners and nutrition communicators can use to help address consumer barriers about fiber and help consumers increase fiber intake. Three key strategies developed by the group are summarized below, and supporting sample messages appear in .

Table 3.

Sample Messages to Promote Increased Fiber Intake.

Providing Food-Based Messages to Increase Fiber
To boost fiber, begin with a quick and tasty breakfast of bran flakes, shredded wheat, or raisin bran cereal topped with bananas and milk. The cereal and fruit give you fiber.
Think outside the cereal box and the breakfast bowl. Enjoy high-fiber cereal as a quick and economical dinner, bedtime snack, coating for oven-baked chicken or fish, or topping on casseroles, salads, or yogurt.
Fiber-rich foods taste great! Think about a just-from-the-oven bran muffin, a yogurt parfait made with granola and blueberries, or a crunchy, colorful salad.
It’s okay to add fiber-rich foods to your diet a little at a time. Start by enjoying an apple or light microwave popcorn as an afternoon snack.
Beans and barley are a tasty, budget-friendly combination to get fiber. Serve them often.
Getting more fiber doesn’t take a lot of time. Fast ways to get fiber are to sprinkle sunflower seeds or high-fiber cereals on yogurt or to add beans to salads.
Communicating the Benefits of Fiber
Getting enough fiber is linked to many health benefits. It may help you manage your weight, and reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some types of cancer.
Eating enough fiber is Mother Nature’s “cleanse” because it helps the body eliminate waste products from the gastrointestinal tract.
To make the most of fiber’s health benefits, eat a variety of foods to get a variety of fibers. It’s like vitamins—your body needs many different vitamins for good health, not just one or two.
A constipated kid is an unhappy kid. To help prevent constipation, take care that your child gets enough fiber. For instance, make sure each meal and snack provides at least 3 grams of fiber.
Labeling Reading to Find Good Sources of Fiber
The Nutrition Facts panel on food packages is a handy tool to help you get more fiber. Check it when you shop to find foods that are a good source of fiber (at least 3 grams per serving) or an excellent source of fiber (at least 5 grams per serving).
Foods made from grains, such as cereals, breads, and pastas, contain different amounts of fiber. To make sure you get a good source of fiber, check the Nutrition Facts panel for foods with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
Correcting Misperceptions About Fiber
Here’s a surprising fact about fiber: Most people think they get enough fiber, but only 1 in 20 actually do.
Not all foods labeled “whole grain” or “made with whole grain” are good sources of fiber. To make sure you get whole grains and a good source of fiber, check the Nutrition Facts panel for options with at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
Yes, eating more fiber can give you gas—it’s the body’s natural response. That’s because your gut is like a brewery where fiber ferments to serve up its many health benefits. So, don’t miss out because of a little gas.

Use Short, Specific, and Simple Recommendations to Address Confusion and Misperceptions About Fiber

Provide easy-to-follow recommendations to increase fiber, such as choosing a bowl of high-fiber cereal and fruit for breakfast, a cup of lentil soup for lunch, or a serving of broccoli for dinner. Speak in consumer-friendly language and avoid scientific terminology they may not understand.

Because the fiber content of foods varies, teach people how to use the Nutrition Facts panel on packaged foods to find options containing at least a good source of fiber (3 grams or more per serving) when possible. This step is especially important for foods labeled “whole grain” or “made with whole grains” because, despite their variable fiber content, consumers rely on these foods as fiber sources.

Offer just 1 or 2 suggestions at a time. Consumers may be more likely to make gradual but meaningful dietary changes, and keeping fiber advice brief addresses time constraints for both consumers and professionals.

In addition, customize fiber advice to make messages as relevant to each person as possible. They will be more likely to follow advice that considers factors such as their food preferences, lifestyle, culinary skills, cultural influences, and economic circumstances.

Consider referrals to a registered dietitian nutritionist when more comprehensive dietary advice is warranted.

Relay Messages That Lead With Food and Flavor, Not Fiber, to Address Negative Taste Perceptions

Attendees concurred that practical advice that promotes appealing and flavorful fiber-rich foods resonates better with consumers than technical discussions about nutrients. In addition, encouraging consumers to meet recommendations by enjoying an array of fiber-containing foods such as grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruit, instead of fiber supplements, helps them consume the variety of fibers needed for multiple health benefits.

For nutrition communicators who are active with the media, including fiber messages during broadcast or print interviews, and in articles, blogs, videos, recipes, and other media, can be an effective way to reach large numbers of consumers with fiber messages. Similar to one-on-one communications, consumers seem more receptive to print and online fiber messages that focus on flavorful foods, according to Summit panelist observations. In addition, consumers are more interested in specific foods, food categories, or occasions (eg, breakfast), and may be more interested in fiber messages that are incorporated in recipes and food tips.

Communicate Fiber’s Many Benefits to Address the Belief That Fiber Is Only for Digestive Health

As part of food-focused messages, describe the potential health advantages of consuming adequate fiber. Consumers may be more motivated to increase fiber intake when they know it is associated with a personally meaningful and tangible benefit, such as assistance with weight management, heart health, or digestive health. Guidance to eat a variety of fiber-containing foods to receive a variety of benefits also may motivate, as well as a simple message about the potential health economic advantages of consuming adequate fiber from foods.20

In addition, acknowledge the intestinal effects of increasing fiber intake. Traditionally, health care practitioners and nutrition communicators have advised people to slowly increase fiber to avoid or lessen side effects, such as intestinal bloating and gas. However, these effects are a normal consequence of fiber fermentation in the intestine, a process that is responsible for some of fiber’s health benefits. Assurance that having gas is a normal, short-lived effect of eating more fiber and is a signal that fiber is doing its job of providing longer-term benefits may help alleviate concern.

Strengthening Future Messaging to Close the Fiber Intake Gap

Summit panelists and attendees identified several opportunities to clarify and strengthen fiber communications to help close the fiber intake gap.

Stronger fiber recommendations in nutrition policy and dietary guidance are needed. Specifically, guidance must directly address consumer confusion about fiber and whole grains by recommending that the public most often choose whole grains that are a good source of fiber (at least 3 grams per serving). Emphasizing that all types of fiber provide health benefits and encouraging consumers to choose a variety of appealing fiber-containing foods may positively influence fiber intakes.

Educating people about front-of-package labeling systems that may highlight fiber content per serving, such as Facts Up Front from the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute, may help consumers shop for foods that provide the best sources of fiber.

Public–private partnerships can help communicate consistent messages about fiber, combat misinformation about grains and carbohydrates, and create a fiber call-to-action among health professionals, nutrition communicators, the food industry, and consumers.

Nutrition communicators can use Summit findings to consistently communicate targeted and benefit-driven advice about fiber. Relaying the benefits of fiber beyond digestive health and offering customized and appealing food-based fiber tips can make inroads on closing the fiber intake gap.


The Food & Fiber Summit was supported through an unrestricted educational grant by the Kellogg Company.


Authors’ Note: Patricia Felt-Gunderson is an employee of the Kellogg Company. Diane Quagliani, Nutrition Consultant, was paid by Kellogg Company to develop the article.


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Recommended Daily Intake – Fiber Facts

Recommended Daily Intake

“Of the under-consumed nutrients, calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D are considered nutrients of public health concern because low intakes are associated with health concerns.” – Dietary Guidelines for American 2015-2020 (8th edition).

In the United States, the recommended dietary fiber intake is 14g/1,000kcal. For an average adult, this means a daily intake of 25g (female) or 38g (male). Most Americans only consume about half of the recommended intake (13.5 and 18g, respectively). This shortage in our diet is called the fiber gap.

Given Americans’ current eating habits, closing the fiber gap without consuming fiber-enriched foods would also mean significantly increasing calorie intake.   To reach the recommended fiber intake without fiber-enriched foods, most Americans would need to increase their calorie intake by more than 500 calories per day. But meeting fiber requirements doesn’t have to mean adding calories if fiber enriched foods are consumed. Studies have shown, for example, that enriching grain foods with fiber (2.5g–5g) resulted in a fiber intake of 24.7g–39.1g/day with no caloric increase. (Nicklas et al, 2011; Jones, 2014)

Fiber-enriched foods help bridge the fiber gap while delivering excellent taste and additional metabolic benefits. The overall diet should have a mix of various fiber types.

Consuming a Variety of Fibers

Although most fibers will have more than one health-related effect, no one fiber can produce every potential health benefit. Some effects are well recognized for a large number of different fiber types, while others can be very fiber specific.  To maximize the health benefits of fiber, it is important to consume a variety of fibers.

Fibers can be found in many different foods. The amount of fiber per serving can easily be found by looking at the Nutrition Facts Panel for the Dietary Fiber line.

Additionally, the fiber content in foods like raw fruits and vegetables that do not have a nutrition label can be found here.

Gastrointestinal Tolerance

Increasing fiber intake suddenly, particularly in individuals consuming a low fiber diet, may result in gastrointestinal effects, such as an increased number of stools per week, having softer stools (but not diarrhea) or having increased flatulence. These effects are due to either bulking effects or due to the fermentation of fiber in the gastrointestinal tract. These potential effects can be minimized by increasing fiber intake more gradually to allow the gastrointestinal tract to adapt. Thus, it may be helpful to decrease fiber intake until these feelings subside and then gradually increase fiber intake until the recommended intake of 14g/1,000kcal is achieved.

September 19, 2018

How Much Fiber Should I Eat Per Day? What Experts Recommend

If the phrase “fiber in your diet” calls to mind images of your mom popping Metamucil tablets, we don’t blame you—fiber is basically the Golden Girls of the nutrient world. However, it’s also an essential for weight loss.

Fiber is about as close to a magic weight loss ingredient as you can get, says Keri Gans, RD, author of The Small Change Diet. Unfortunately, most of us aren’t getting enough of it, she says. Here’s everything to know about fiber intake for weight loss.

How much fiber should you eat per day?

The average woman should be getting 25 grams of fiber per day, according to the 2015 to 2020 Dietary Guidelines. That’s the amount in seven apples, or 12 cups of broccoli, or seven and a half cups of oatmeal. But we’re going to take a wild guess that you’re not eating that many apples.

How does fiber help you lose weight?

Getting an adequate amount of that nutrient through whole foods (not fiber supplements, more on that later) keeps you fuller longer because fiber digests much slower than simple carbs. And the more full and satisfied you feel after eating healthy, fiber-filled foods, the less tempting those cookies in the break room will be after lunch, explains Gans.

By aiming to meet your fiber quota, you’ll likely end up making better food choices overall. —Keri Gans, RD

Another bonus that comes with packing fiber into your diet is that healthy, weight-loss friendly foods, like fruits, veggies, and whole grains, are already full of the stuff, says Gans. So by aiming to meet your fiber quota, rather than counting calories, you’ll likely end up making better food choices overall, she says.

What are the other health benefits of eating enough fiber?

Fiber is an essential nutrient for health, says Katie Hake, RDN, a nutritionist at Indiana University Health. “Fiber can help to reduce cholesterol, which helps prevent heart disease. It can also help control blood sugar by slowing down the breakdown of food, particularly for those who live with diabetes,” she says.

On top of that, this essential part of your diet keeps your digestive system trucking along, so you won’t be bloated or constipated. (*Insert poop emoji here.*) How exactly does fiber do that? It depends on the kind you’re consuming.

There are three kinds of fiber: soluble, insoluble, and fermented. The first two aid digestion, but each type has a different role. “Soluble fiber, from oats, nuts, and seeds, acts as a broom to ‘sweep’ things along,” says Hake. Insoluble fiber, from things like cabbage, brown rice, and some dark leafy vegetables, on the other hand, promotes bowel movement by making your stool easier to pass. “[It’s] non-digestible and adds bulk to the stool, which can aid in moving things along,” says Hake.

Then, there’s fermentable fiber, which you can get from foods like beans and garlic. “Fermentable” means the fiber holds an ability to promote growth of good bacteria in the gut, similar to probiotics, says Hake.

How can I eat 25 grams of fiber a day?

Since pounding half a dozen apples at the end of your day to meet your fiber goal isn’t appetizing, the best strategy is to spread your servings out across all your meals and snacks for the day, says Gans.

“All of your meals should include at least eight grams of fiber,” she says. To hit the 25 grams per day goal, snack on a medium pear or a half an avocado, which have about six grams of fiber each, says Gans.

To ramp up your fiber intake at each meal, start including oatmeal, which has four grams per cup, quinoa (five grams per cup), and barley (eight grams per 1/4 cup) into your menu. To up the ante even further, get friendly with fiber-filled mix-ins like chia seeds (10 grams per ounce), and chickpeas (about nine grams per 1/4 cup). Above all, remember that fiber is your friend.

What foods are highest in fiber?

If you need more ideas of high-fiber foods you can add to your daily diet, there are plenty of other options. Here’s a list of foods you can try, according to Hake.

  • Lentils (7.8 g of fiber per half cup): “Lentils can be a great source of protein for lentil tacos, chili, or stuffed in cooked peppers,” she says.
    • High-fiber bran cereal (9. 1 grams of fiber per half cup): “It’s an easy food to add to yogurt or eat for breakfast to help keep you full for a busy day ahead,” Hake says.
      • Navy beans (9.6 grams of fiber per half cup, cooked): Hake notes that navy beans are easy to add to a soup or salad for an added fiber boost.
        • Black beans (7.7 grams of fiber per half cup, cooked): “These make a great base for all kinds of meals and add additional fiber,” she says.
          • Artichokes (7.2 grams of fiber per half cup, cooked): Try adding artichokes to a salad or on top of homemade pizza for a twist.

            Can you eat too much fiber—and what happens if you do?

            It is possible to have too much fiber, especially if you’re incorporating supplements into your diet or if you consume in excess of the dietary guideline limit of 25 grams a day. If you’ve had too much, you’ll feel it. “Consuming an excess of the dietary guidelines can cause gas, bloating, discomfort, nausea, and even constipation,” says Hake.

            Again, the best way to avoid going overboard is to avoid fiber supplements. (Tip: It’s also better to get fiber from real foods because it encourages you to eat more nutritious options, which you might not if you rely on supps—not ideal for weight loss.)

            If you’re just beginning to monitor and up your fiber intake, Hake suggests increasing gradually to allow your body time to adjust and minimize symptoms. Drinking plenty of water can also help reduce any likelihood of stomach aches from upping your daily fiber.

            The bottom line: Fiber is a crucial nutrient for weight loss, and the average woman needs 25 grams per day, which can be spread out across your meals and snacks.

            Macaela Mackenzie
            Macaela Mackenzie is a freelance journalist specializing in health, culture, and tech, and she regularly contributes to outlets like Prevention, Women’s Health, Shape, Allure, Men’s Health, the John Hopkins Health Review, and more.

            Jasmine Gomez
            Associate Lifestyle editor
            Jasmine Gomez is the associate lifestyle editor at Women’s Health and covers health, fitness, sex, culture and cool products.

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            Most Americans are not getting enough fiber i

            image: Average daily fiber intake (in grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed) among U.S. adults by gender and diabetes status.
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            Credit: Derek Miketinas, Texas Woman’s University

            Rockville, Maryland (June 7, 2021) — Only 5% of men and 9% of women are getting the recommended daily amount of dietary fiber, according to a study being presented at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE. Insufficient fiber intake is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes, two of the most common diseases in the U.S.

            “These findings should remind people to choose fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits and vegetables to reduce their risk for heart disease,” said Derek Miketinas, PhD, RD, an assistant professor at Texas Woman’s University, the study’s lead author. “Based on our findings, fewer than 1 in 10 U.S. adults meet their daily recommendations for fiber intake. For those with diabetes, it is especially important to eat enough fiber since they are at a greater risk for heart disease.”

            Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that passes through the body undigested. Though perhaps best known for its role in supporting regular bowel movements, fiber also carries important benefits for cardiovascular health. Studies suggest dietary fiber can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and inflammation and help prevent diabetes. It can also improve blood sugar levels for people with diabetes.

            The researchers analyzed data from more than 14,600 U.S. adults who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) between 2013-2018. Fiber intake was assessed using dietary questionnaires; diabetes status was self-reported and also assessed with hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) levels. Researchers only analyzed fiber intake from dietary sources, excluding fiber supplements.

            “Unlike other similar studies, our analysis estimated Americans’ usual fiber intake using advanced statistical methods instead of calculating a simple average,” said Miketinas. “This approach is a better indicator of what a person typically eats because it can account for other factors that may influence fiber intake.”

            Health guidelines recommend eating 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed (g/1,000 kcal) daily. On average, women in the study consumed 9.9 g/1,000 kcal and men consumed 8.7 g/1,000 kcal. Among those with diabetes, women consumed 10.3 g/1,000 kcal and men consumed 9. 6 g/1,000 kcal, higher than average but still falling short of recommendations.

            To get the right amount of fiber, the typical woman should aim for about 25 grams (for a 2,000 calorie diet), while men should aim for 38 grams (for a 2,500 calorie diet), with lower targets for those over age 50. This typically requires a good mix of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. For perspective, choosing a whole grain such as pearled barley will provide 6 grams of fiber per cup compared to less than 2 grams of fiber in white rice.

            In addition to shedding light on Americans’ eating habits, Miketinas said the new findings can help inform future research into chronic disease prevention.

            “The results of this study can be used to identify relationships between dietary fiber intake and outcomes of interest like risk factors for heart disease,” said Miketinas. “In fact, our preliminary analysis suggests that higher dietary fiber intake in adults with diabetes is strongly associated with reductions in markers for heart and kidney disease.

            Miketinas will present this research in an on-demand poster session during NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE from noon on Monday, June 7 through 5:30 p.m. on Friday, June 10 (abstract; presentation details).

            Images available.

            Please note that abstracts presented at NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE were evaluated and selected by a committee of experts but have not generally undergone the same peer review process required for publication in a scientific journal. As such, the findings presented should be considered preliminary until a peer-reviewed publication is available.


            About NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE

            NUTRITION 2021 LIVE ONLINE, held June 7-10, 2021 is a dynamic virtual event showcasing new research findings and timely discussions on food and nutrition. Scientific symposia explore hot topics including clinical and translational nutrition, food science and systems, global and public health, population science and cellular and physiological nutrition and metabolism. https://meeting.nutrition.org #NutritionLiveOnline

            About the American Society for Nutrition (ASN)

            ASN is the preeminent professional organization for nutrition research scientists and clinicians around the world. Founded in 1928, the society brings together the top nutrition researchers, medical practitioners, policy makers and industry leaders to advance our knowledge and application of nutrition. ASN publishes four peer-reviewed journals and provides education and professional development opportunities to advance nutrition research, practice and education. http://www.nutrition.org

            Find more news briefs and tipsheets at: https://www.eurekalert.org/meetings/nutrition/2021/newsroom. Watch on-demand sessions, view posters and more by registering for a free pass to attend the virtual meeting.

            Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.

            Online Nutrition Resources at Your Fingertips

            Posted by Rosalie Bliss, Agricultural Research Service in

            Food and Nutrition

            Feb 21, 2017

            At home, school, or work, consumers can use USDA’s free ChooseMyPlate.gov, an interactive website for creating a customized healthy dietary plan that includes required daily vitamins and minerals, and age- and gender-appropriate daily portions and calorie levels. Users can also tap tools called “Daily Food Plan,” “SuperTracker,” and “Food-a-Pedia.”

            Even if you’re not among the 68 percent of U.S. adults who are overweight or obese, many consumers are striving to get a leg up on their nutritional health. Some of the simplest government facts can inspire consumers to better nutrition.

            U.S. nutrition experts issue “leading indicators” on the nation’s nutritional health. USDA’s national “What We Eat In America” survey data indicate that dietary fiber intakes among U.S. consumers average only 16 grams per day. The problem is that the daily Adequate Intake for fiber is set at 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men!

            There’s even more reason to take stock of fiber intake. USDA nutrition experts use an index to assign scores to diets on a scale in which a score of 100 indicates that the diet meets policies known as the “Dietary Guidelines for Americans”—as described at ChooseMyPlate.gov. The index reports that two high-fiber food categories—legumes (beans and peas) and dark-green vegetables—are the two veggie subgroups for which U.S. dietary intakes are furthest from recommended levels.

            Significantly, a USDA-funded expert in developing successful weight-control plans recommends ample legumes and green veggies because they are both “slow-digesting” carbohydrates and high in fiber. The emphasis on hunger-reducing foods is part of an overall craving-control strategy. The approach is based on identifying—and slowly changing—unhealthy food attachments that activate reward pathways in the brain.

            All carbohydrates break down into sugar, and scientists have long known that the human brain is programmed to crave sugar to some degree. The Recommended Daily Allowance for carbohydrates is based on the amount needed—not craved—by the brain. The plan’s goal is to “reprogram” the brain’s habitual attachment to overconsumption of added sugars and low-fiber, less-filling refined grains commonly found in commercial foods.

            Good sources of food fiber include legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds, and whole grains. Unlike refined grains, whole grains contain the entire grain kernel including bran.

            Below are government websites where consumers can look up science-based data on food nutrients and score their own nutritional home runs:

            The USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference provides searches by foods in descending order of the content of individual nutrients selected, including fiber.

            The USDA What’s In The Foods You Eat Search Tool provides searches of more complex, multi-ingredient foods.

            The USDA SuperTracker’s Food-A-Pedia provides nutrition information so consumers can compare nutrient data on several foods side by side.

            Among the thousands of apps for iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, and BlackBerry, many are nutrition/health related and are based on the download and import of the BHNRC national nutrient databases.
            Food and Nutrition

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            Fiber: The superfood 95 percent of Americans fail to eat enough of

            When we fret about the deterioration of the American diet, we tend to focus on the excessive amounts of sugar, salt, and calories we’re now eating.

            What we don’t talk about: an important ingredient that’s gone missing as we’ve been filling our plates with more chicken and cheese.

            Fiber. Only 5 percent of people in the US meet the Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily target of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. That amounts to a population-wide deficiency — what nutritionists call the “fiber gap.”

            “People are so busy avoiding carbs, they forget that these foods give [them] important dietary components,” said nutritionist Julie Jones, of St. Catherine University.

            Fiber is the closest thing we have to a true superfood — or super-nutrient since it’s a part of so many different foods. Eating a fiber-rich diet is associated with better gastrointestinal health and a reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, high cholesterol, obesity, type 2 diabetes, even some cancers. That’s because fiber is amazingly helpful in many ways: It slows the absorption of glucose — which evens out our blood sugar levels — and also lowers cholesterol and inflammation.

            These benefits grow the more fiber people eat. In a recent Lancet review of 185 studies and 58 clinical trials, researchers found that if 1,000 people transitioned from a low-fiber diet (under 15 grams per day) to a high-fiber diet (25 to 29 grams per day), they’d prevent 13 deaths and six cases of heart disease. (Some researchers have described not eating high-fiber carbohydrates as “the opportunity cost” of the ultra low-carb ketogenic diet.)

            If fiber were a drug, we’d be all over it. But the average American gets just 16 grams per day — half of what we should be eating.

            A big reason for that has to do with what we now eat. Instead of munching on fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds, more than half of the calories Americans consume come from ultra-processed foods. On any given day, nearly 40 percent of Americans eat fast food. These prepared and processed meals tend to be low in fiber, or even fiber free. (A cup of cooked oatmeal has 4 grams of fiber and a pear has 6 grams, while a McDonald’s hamburger has one gram and soda has none. )

            This pattern of eating is not just leading to weight gain and obesity-related health issues; it’s hurting our gastrointestinal health in ways researchers are only beginning to understand. That’s because fiber’s benefits are a lot more complicated than our prune-peddling moms and grandmothers appreciated.

            Fiber doesn’t just help us poop better — it also nourishes our gut microbiome. The science, while still pretty nascent, is fascinating and it points to the fact that the fiber gap may be even more damaging than we’ve realized.

            There are many different types of fiber — and they do different things in our guts

            To think of fiber as just Metamucil and bran cereal is to do its complexity a disservice.

            Fiber (or “fibers,” as the researchers who study it say) is a group of different kinds of plant-based carbohydrates that affect our gastrointestinal tract in myriad ways. The big difference between fiber and other carbs, like starches and sugar, is that we can’t directly digest or absorb it. And some fiber types can only be broken down by the gut microbiome, the ecology of trillions of diverse bacteria lining our intestines and colon.

            Scientists have learned over the years that fiber can be soluble (meaning it dissolves in water), viscose (gel-forming), or fermentable (bacteria can metabolize it) — and they’re just beginning to understand how these different fiber types interact with our gastrointestinal tract and affect our health.

            Take cellulose, a type of fiber in fruits and vegetables: it’s insoluble and it’s not fermentable. Hemicellulose, found in bran, can’t be dissolved in water and it’s not gel-forming (viscous) but it is fermentable. Psyllium, in Metamucil, is water soluble, gel-forming and less fermentable than other fibers. There’s also another class, known as “functional fiber”: industrially processed but natural fibers (such as inulin or fructan) and synthetic fibers (such as polycarbophil), all of which can be added to foods and supplements.

            Understanding this variety is relevant to our health because different fibers have different health effects on our gastrointestinal tract, said William Chey, a professor of gastroenterology and nutrition at the University of Michigan. Gel-forming fibers like psyllium, for example, hold on to water. So if your stool is hard, they can help soften it, Chey said. “If your stool is too loose, the water-absorbing capacity can add form.”

            Fermentability is also important, he explained, because it reflects whether the gut microbiome views fiber as a food source or not. Fermentable fibers can exacerbate gas and bloating, so people who experience those symptoms might want to adjust their intake. Researchers have demonstrated that a low FODMAP diet — which limits fermentable foods, including fibers such as fructan — can alleviate irritable bowel syndrome.

            “Most doctors and people think all fiber is created equal,” Chey added. “But different types of fiber have different properties in the gut, especially as it pertains to the microbiome.”

            Most humans have evolved to eat lots of fiber

            The second thing to know about fiber is that humans evolved to eat it — a lot of it. Long before we learned to cook, domesticate animals, and put McDonald’s on every corner, our evolutionary cousins — such as chimps and bonobos — followed frugivore diets, subsisting mainly on fiber-heavy fruits, roots, shoots, nuts, and seeds. There’s also ample evidence that early humans went to great lengths to eat fiber-rich carbohydrates, such as oats and acorns.

            Today, studies of Tanzania’s Hadza people, one of the few remaining hunter-gatherer groups on the planet, are a useful model for understanding just how much fiber early humans probably ate. Tribe members consume 100 to 150 fiber grams per day — enough to fill some 50 bowls of Cheerios, and 10 times what Americans take in, as NPR reported. Their daily diet is rich in roughage — tubers, berries, baobab fruits — and the Hadza people don’t eat any ultra-processed foods.

            Researchers who study the health effects of fiber, including Jens Walter at the University of Alberta, say the Hadza’s enthusiasm for roughage should remind us of how much the human diet has shifted away from fiber.

            “It’s really just within the last 5,000 years, and definitely within the last 100 years, that we basically took all the fiber away,” he said. “The average amount of fiber consumed by now is a small fraction to what we evolved with. ” (Caveat: There are human communities — like the Inuit in Greenland — who’ve adapted to survive on meat-heavy diets without many plants, but they’re outliers.)

            This change isn’t just attributable to the advent of fiber-free processed and fast foods in advanced economies. More than 10,000 years ago, before agriculture and selective plant breeding, early fruits and vegetables were almost unrecognizable by today’s standards.

            Generation after generation of farmers have since bred them to be bigger and tastier — in many cases increasing their sugar content and stripping them of fiber. Milling, meanwhile, cleared the whole-grain fractions out of our bread and bakery products, which were a major fiber source, Walter said. And meat replaced fibrous beans and lentils as the main source of protein in many parts of the world. Researchers are now documenting the health impacts of that change.

            Why fiber is good for our gut

            Because our intestines can’t directly digest fiber, we’ve long seen fiber as beneficial for relieving constipation by adding bulk to stool and promoting regular bowel movements.

            Another commonly touted fiber benefit: It can help us feel full, so we eat less and maybe even lose weight. (There’s some debate about fiber’s effect on satiety and appetite. The most recent systematic reviews of the research suggest fiber’s impact here is surprisingly modest, though others note that many studies have focused on supplements instead of whole foods, which are probably more satiating.)

            Still, all this “was before people [realized] how much the non-digestible things we eat impact our gut bacteria,” said University of Michigan microbiologist Eric Martens.

            Researchers now consider fiber’s role in nourishing our gut microbiome — the ecosystem of microbes in our intestines — to be one of its main health benefits. They don’t yet fully understand why fiber is so good for our gut, but they have some ideas.

            Fermentable fibers — which include all soluble fibers and some insoluble fibers — are metabolized or fermented by bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. That process produces chemicals, including short-chain fatty acids, which are important food sources for our gut bacteria.

            They also carry health benefits, Martens said. Short-chain fatty acids have been shown to promote insulin production, so we can better manage the spikes of sugar (or glucose) in our blood, for example, helping to manage type 2 diabetes. In addition, they seem to have anti-inflammatory properties.

            “When we don’t consume enough fiber, we are essentially starving our gut microbiome,” said Alberta’s Jens Walter, “which is likely detrimental for a variety of reasons. We also probably lose [microbiome] diversity.”

            Andrew Gewirtz of Georgia State University was among the researchers who noticed that mice develop metabolic syndrome — obesity and its associated disorders, such as diabetes and high cholesterol — when they are fed a high-fat diet. But when fiber was added to the high-fat diet, most of that metabolic syndrome went away.

            “We realized the fiber is very important for our metabolic parameters,” Gewirtz told Vox. So he decided to compare the microbiomes of mice on a fiber-enriched high-fat diet with mice on a low-fiber high-fat diet, to figure out what they might reveal about why extra fiber seemed to offset the health harms of dietary fat. And he found the two sets of mice wound up having really different microbiomes: Rodents on the low-fiber diet had a marked reduction in the total numbers of bacteria in their gut and a less diverse microbiome compared to the mice on the high-fiber diet.

            That lack of diversity might have negative health effects — one of them to do with the mucus layer in the gut. Mucus acts as a protective barrier between us and the outside world. It’s constantly being replenished by secretions from the cells that make up our intestines, and it’s covered with a layer of bacteria, part of our microbiome. Fiber feeds the bacteria on top of the mucus layer as it passes through, helping to keep our microbiomes robust, Gewirtz said.

            Another fiber study — again in mice — showed what happens when the bacteria in the digestive tract don’t get any fiber. Researchers, including Martens, found the bacteria begin to eat away at the mucus layer, bringing them into closer contact with the intestinal tissue.

            “The hypothesis is if we stop feeding the microbiome [fiber], the bacteria will resort more frequently to digesting that mucus barrier as a source of nutrients.”

            If bacteria eating up the mucus layer sounds bad, well, it is. The mucus layer keeps pathogens out, and the researchers were able to show that if they introduced a pathogen in the context of a low-fiber diet, it had an easier time getting into the intestine and causing an infection. “The lack of a mucus barrier made the disease get much worse much quicker,” Martens added. “It may irritate the [intestinal] tissue or provoke immune responses,” leaving the mice more vulnerable to disease.

            While it’s not yet clear how or whether these findings will translate to people, researchers know that altering the fiber in one’s diet creates changes in the human microbiome.

            And for now, this science shows us that we should start thinking about fiber differently, Gewirtz said. The exclusive focus on fiber’s constipation-fighting properties misses the big picture: “It’s just one thing that fiber does” and maybe not as important as fiber’s impact on our microbiome.

            Christina Animashaun/Vox

            Only five percent of Americans meet the recommended fiber target — and that means most miss out on fiber’s benefits. So how can you eat more fiber? Every researcher I spoke to suggested aiming to get a diversity of fiber from a varied menu of whole foods, instead of relying only on supplements or fiber-enriched processed foods, especially the sugary bars and brownies now being marketed as fiber-delivery tools.

            To do that, consider snacking on whole fruits, replacing white bread with whole-grain alternatives, eating potatoes with the skins on, and tossing berries, nuts, and seeds on your yogurt, cereals, or salads, Hannah Holscher, an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois, suggested. “Lots of small changes can add up.”

            If you like smoothies, throw your fruits, veggies, and nuts in a blender. Contrary to the hype about smoothies degrading fiber, some of the researchers I spoke to actually encouraged this approach. “Even baking does not destroy most fibers,” Walter said.

            “[The] natural sources are probably better for both your digestive health and your microbiome. They’re more diverse from the chemical level,” Martens added. “If you can get 25 to 30 grams per day from beans, nuts, vegetables and fruits, and whole grains — that’s a good place to start.”

            What a fiber-rich dinner looks like. Andrew Reynolds

            Andrew Reynolds, a diabetes and obesity researcher at New Zealand’s University of Otago (and the lead author on that recent Lancet review of fiber’s benefits), laid out what meeting one’s fiber target might look like in a meal plan. He tracked what he ate on a recent day.

            Two slices chunky wholegrain toast with apricot jam: 5 grams fiber
            Two cups of black coffee: 0 fiber
            1 small apple: 2 grams fiber

            Red beans and brown rice with salsa verde and hot sauce: 7 grams fiber
            Large handful of unsalted peanuts: 2 grams fiber
            2 cups tea with low fat milk: 0 fiber
            1 carrot, raw: 2 grams fiber
            2 small prunes:​ 1.5 grams fiber
            Two cups of black coffee: 0 fiber

            1 wholemeal Turkish pide bread: 2.5 grams fiber
            2 cups of kale and white bean salad with tahini dressing: 8 grams fiber
            1/3 eggplant with yoghurt dressing and pomegranate: 2 grams fiber
            1 cob of corn: 2 grams fiber
            2 lamb meatballs in 1 cup fennel/tomato sauce: 4 grams fiber
            1 glass white wine: 0 fiber

            Reynolds consumed 38 grams of fiber, the recommended target for adult men. But he also advised that people shouldn’t obsess about meeting fiber targets. “Any increase in fiber is good for you, especially for those on a low-fiber diet.”

            For many Americans, upping the fiber intake may be easier said than done. The reasons people aren’t eating fiber look a like like the reasons they’re not following a healthy diet generally. “[It’s] a perceived lack of time to prepare meals at home, eating out more, [a lack of] knowledge about how to prepare different high-fiber foods … in a way that tastes good,” Holscher explained.

            Some high-fiber foods — like fresh produce and nuts — also cost more than lower-fiber alternatives, such as sweets or soda. And even though grains, beans and lentils come cheap, they’re not always convenient to prepare. So maybe the solution to the fiber gap is making fiber cool, and as cheap and easy to eat as hamburger.

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            90,000 Fiber. What is it, why is it needed, why and how is there more than

            The World Health Organization recommends eating 400 grams (5 servings) of vegetables and fruits per day, which contains 25-30 grams of fiber.

            According to statistics, Europeans consume only 50–70% of the daily value of fiber. This is especially influenced by the predominance of fast food, convenience foods, saturated fats, sugar and animal protein in the diet.

            In 2019, a group of scientists conducted a meta-analysis of the effect of fiber on the human body.The results of the study confirmed that the daily fiber intake of 25-30 grams, which is recommended by the WHO, is optimal for health.

            In this article we will talk about what fiber is, which foods contain it and how it affects the body.


            1. What is fiber
            2. How fiber supports the health of the microbiota
            3. How to increase the proportion of fiber in the diet
            4. How to assess the health of the microbiota

            What is fiber

            Fiber is a complex carbohydrate or dietary fiber found in plant foods.It is not digested by the body, but bacteria in the gut use it for a number of functions.

            There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Almost all plants contain both species, but in different proportions. Both are needed by our body. : Soluble fiber slows down the absorption of macronutrients from food, especially sugars.Thus, it helps control blood glucose levels, which is important for people with insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, or a predisposition to diabetes.

            Blood Cholesterol : Soluble fiber blocks and reduces total dietary cholesterol, including low density lipoprotein. It helps with heart disease and reduces the risk of developing it.

            Bile Acids : The body uses cholesterol to produce bile acids, which help break down fats and collect metabolic waste.To prevent bile from accumulating in the body, soluble fiber blocks it and removes it in the stool.

            Appetite & Weight : Studies show that soluble fiber enhances satiety and satisfies hunger for a long time. Research results indicate weight loss and improvement in body mass index in overweight and obese patients.

            Gut Microbiota : Soluble fiber is considered a prebiotic food for beneficial gut bacteria. They, in turn, break it down and produce short-chain fatty acids.

            Insoluble fiber

            Photo by Tom Hermans / Unsplash

            Insoluble fiber – fiber resistant to digestive enzymes that pass through the body almost unchanged. They help form feces.

            Insoluble fiber stimulates the intestinal wall to produce mucus (mucin) and fluid. The fibers absorb water to form feces, and the extra mucus helps move them through the intestines and out of the body.

            How fiber supports microbiota health

            The required amount of fiber in the diet improves several indicators of the body at once due to its effect on beneficial and probiotic bacteria.

            Fiber helps to regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. This reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, the interaction of fiber and microbes helps control and reduce chronic inflammation that is associated with many common diseases.

            Use Fiber type Products
            Satiety, decreased appetite Dextrin, polydextrose Wheat, potatoes, rice
            Improvement in blood sugar levels Fructooligosaccharides, resistant starch, pyrodextrin Legumes, wheat, rye, onions, garlic, cooked starch, vegetable bananas, chilled potatoes and pasta
            Reducing inflammation and strengthening the immune system Arabinogalactan, 𝛃-glucan, fructooligosaccharides, galactooligosaccharides, xylo-oligosaccharides Radishes, carrots, pears, tomatoes, bran, whole grains, mushrooms, legumes, wheat, rye, onions, garlic, chamomile and echinacea (no more than 10 grams per day)
            Improving blood cholesterol levels 𝛃-glucan, cellulose Bran, whole grains, mushrooms, most edible plants
            Stool regularity 𝛃-glucan Bran, whole grains, mushrooms
            Absorption of calcium and magnesium Inulin Chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, onion, garlic

            Eating fiber reduces overall mortality and deaths from cardiovascular problems by 15–30%.

            Butyric acid

            Butyric acid or butyrate is a short-chain fatty acid that protects the intestines from inflammation and maintains the integrity of its walls.

            Intestinal bacteria produce butyrate during the fermentation of dietary fiber. Among such bacteria are Faecalibacterium prausnitzii , Roseburia, Eubacterium and some others. With a lack of fiber, butyric acid production is disrupted, which leads to a weakening of the immune system and increases the risk of inflammation.

            Butyrate-producing bacteria feed on such types of fiber as arabinoxylan, inulin, pectin, 𝛃-glucan, polydextrose. They are found in barley, oats, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, onions, garlic, rye, apples, citrus fruits, berries, whole grains, bran, mushrooms.

            Fiber as a prebiotic

            Prebiotics are types of fibers that, when they enter the intestines, nourish bacteria and stimulate their growth.

            These types of fiber include beta-glucans, galacto-, fructo-, xylo- and arabinooligosaccharides, isomaltose, lactulose, oligofructose, inulin, resistant starch. All of them are found in herbal products.

            If you took the Atlas Microbiota Test, you may have noticed a lot of confusing terms in the Fiber Intake Rate report. These are all prebiotics that are present in your diet.

            Through microbiota testing, we learn which bacteria live and predominate in your gut, what types of fiber they prefer, and how effectively the microbiota copes with fiber breakdown. This information is needed to provide personalized nutritional advice.

            Nutrition for probiotic bacteria

            Gut microbiota is a community of bacteria. The higher their diversity, the better the health indicators. The average and low abundance of bacteria indicates an imbalance in the microbiota. Because of this, the body’s potential to defend against disease and inflammation may be reduced.

            The more fiber from different sources in your diet, the more beneficial bacteria you have in your gut. For example, the probiotic bacteria Bifidobacterium produces acetate and lactate. They, in turn, are used by bacteria of the species Firmicutes for the production of butyrate.

            These bacteria maintain the acidity of the intestines, provide protection against inflammation and pathogens, help to strengthen the immune system, and even reduce stress levels.

            Community members such as Akkermansia have other useful qualities. They are present in the intestines of normal weight people and help control weight gain and maintenance.

            Effect Fiber type Products
            Growth of bifidobacteria Arabinan, arabinoxylan, fructooligosaccharides (FOS), galactooligosaccharides (GOS), galactomannans, mannanoligosaccharides Beetroot, rye, barley, oats, dairy products, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, onion, garlic, maitake mushrooms, baker’s yeast
            Growth of lactic acid bacteria Fructooligosaccharides, inulin, galactan, galactomannan, pullulan, pyrodextrin Thermally processed starch, rye, wheat, onion, garlic, legumes, dairy products, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, red algae, maitake mushrooms
            Growth Akkermansia Arabinoxylan Rye, barley, oats

            How to Increase Fiber in Your Diet

            It would seem that all that is required is to consume at least 30 grams of fiber from natural products. However, add fiber gradually. Side effects such as bloating, gas and abdominal pain are common when fiber increases in the diet.

            British Association for Nutrition, Lifestyle and Medicine recommends using the rainbow principle: eat five servings of vegetables and two fruits daily, each serving one of the colors of the rainbow.

            You can track the result using the Nutrition Diary, which is built into the Atlas mobile application.

            Convenience foods and fast food are not rich in fiber and contain a lot of salt, sugar and fat.

            Ration constructor

            🍛 Side dish

            Whole grains : wheat, rye, barley, oats, quinoa, buckwheat (this can be both grains and flour).
            Legumes : beans, lentils, chickpeas.
            Starch : potatoes (cooked and chilled), green bananas, brown rice.

            🥬 Additional sources of fiber

            Vegetables : raw, fried, boiled, stewed, steamed, dried.
            Fruit : preferably fresh, sometimes dried. Best for breakfast or dessert.
            Greens : fresh, dried.
            Mushrooms : Don’t forget them too.

            🥑 Fats

            Olive oil : Observe the measure.
            Avocado : tasty and rich in fiber, measure is also important.
            Greek Yogurt : Probiotic, great for breakfast or as a dressing.

            🍋 Seasonings and dressings

            Seeds and Nuts : Choose raw ones for a crispy texture.
            Citrus : Their juice is good as a dressing
            Herbs : They give a rich taste.
            Spices : depending on your mood.
            Pepper : black, red, mix, dried or fresh
            Salt : the main thing is not to oversalt.
            Nutritional Yeast : Adds cheese flavor and aroma. Better for ready-made meals.

            🥚 Proteins

            Red meat, seafood and fatty fish : each no more than once a week.
            White meat and eggs : in moderation.
            Vegetable protein : legumes, tofu.

            Should you take fiber as a dietary supplement?

            It can be difficult to consume the recommended amount of fiber in a regular diet. The theory that in large quantities it promotes weight loss, as well as the availability in the form of nutritional supplements, makes the choice in favor of dietary supplements more attractive.

            Research on how fiber supplements affect BMI reduction are conflicting.On the one hand, some dietary supplements satisfy hunger for a long time. This reduces appetite and promotes consumption of fewer calories.

            On the other hand, supplements contain pure fiber: unlike vegetables and fruits, they are devoid of vitamins and minerals. In addition, fiber often loses its ability to gel during production – it does not create a viscous mass that makes you feel full.

            Fiber in the form of dietary supplements has its benefits: it helps to supplement the amount of fiber in the diet, and is also used to treat certain gastrointestinal disorders.But resorting to this method should be under the supervision of a doctor.

            How to assess the health of the microbiota

            In the Microbiota Test, we examine the DNA of bacteria from a stool sample. This allows you to find out the level of microbiota diversity, how bacteria cope with the synthesis of butyric acid and vitamins, and what types of fiber you are missing.

            We will upload reports on four indicators to your personal account in the Nutrition section:

            The test results also include dietary recommendations based on your gut bacteria composition.


            • ED Jesch & TP Carr, Food Ingredients That Inhibit Cholesterol Absorption, 2017
            • SV Thompson et al., Effects of isolated soluble fiber supplementation on body weight, glycemia, and insulinemia in adults with overweight and obesity: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, 2017
            • J Slavin & H Green, Dietary fiber and satiety, 2007
            • D Dhingra et al., Dietary fiber in foods: a review, 2012
            • World Gastroenterology Organization, Diet and the gut guidelines, 2018
            • Andrew Reynolds et al, Carbohydrate quality and human health: a series of systematic reviews and meta-analyzes, 2019
            • McRorie, Johnson W.Jr PhD, FACG, AGAF, FACN, Evidence-Based Approach to Fiber Supplements and Clinically Meaningful Health Benefits, Part 2 What to Look for and How to Recommend an Effective Fiber Therapy, 2015
            • Max H Pittler, Edzard Ernst, Dietary supplements for body-weight reduction: a systematic review, 2004

            90,000 Russian scientists were the first in the world to propose the daily intake of fiber subspecies

            One of the key conditions for a healthy diet is a sufficient amount of fiber, which a person should eat daily.Thanks to this, it is possible to normalize the level of cholesterol and glucose in the blood, monitor weight, improve bowel function and the composition of the microbiota. At the same time, a lack of dietary fiber increases the risk of obesity, cancer and other diseases, thereby reducing the duration and quality of life. The question arose before scientists: how much and what subtypes of fiber healthy people consume. There was still no clear understanding of what and in what quantity of dietary fiber to eat during the day. Now Russian and British scientists are getting closer to getting an answer.

            Researchers of the Atlas holding Artem Shevlyakov, Dmitry Nikogosov, Lee-Ann Stewart and the renowned European gut microbiome scientist Miguel Toribio-Mateas analyzed the diet of 20,000 Britons. In the analytical sample, the authors of the study included data from men and women from UK Biobank, one of the world’s largest repositories of data on the genetics, health and lifestyle of volunteers from 40 to 69 years old living in the UK. The study participants had no complaints of well-being and diseases such as diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease, arterial hypertension.The volunteers also responded to a detailed questionnaire about how much and what foods they eat during the day.

            Knowing the content of certain subtypes of fiber in food and the nature of the British diet, scientists have calculated how many different types of dietary fiber healthy people eat per day. For example, healthy men weighing 70 kg daily consume about 4.5 g of pectin, 4 g of lignin, about 10 g of cellulose and almost 14.5 g of hemicellulose in their food. The daily intake for healthy women weighing 57 kg is about 4.5 g of pectin, 4 g of lignin, 9 g of cellulose and 13 g of hemicellulose.

            Based on the findings, Miguel Toribio-Mateas, co-author of the scientific publication, proposed an example of a balanced diet for the average healthy person, taking into account all subtypes of fiber. So, for breakfast, you can eat bran cereals and sliced ​​banana and apple as a snack. Lunch can include stewed beans and whole grain toast. For dinner – tuna, salad with herbs, tomatoes and cucumber. For dessert – yogurt with strawberries and crushed almonds. According to the authors of the study, this is an average diet, a set of products and dishes should be selected individually.Now, thanks to the formula developed by Russian scientists for calculating fiber subtypes, it is possible to give more accurate nutritional recommendations for the benefit of the intestinal microflora, the composition of which can already be found out using the microbiota test.

            “Recommendations for dietary fiber have been around for a long time. Therefore, we went further and calculated the norms for the consumption of fiber subtypes – 6 soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. The obtained data may be of interest to anyone for whom a healthy balanced diet is important.And they can also help nutritionists and nutritionists to more personalize the diets for their patients in order to include in the right amount those nutrients that the microbiota of a healthy person feeds on. This will help reduce the risks of many diseases, including colon cancer, diabetes, atherosclerosis, and even dementia. I hope this work will launch a chain of scientific research on other subtypes of fiber, their content in foods and the differences in their use in healthy people and those with certain diseases, “said a geneticist, bioinformatist, head of the analytical department of the Atlas biomedical holding Dmitry Nikogosov.

            90,000 Daily fiber intake and prevention of Crohn’s disease

            Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) belong to a group of chronic diseases with a possible genetic predisposition, the trigger factors of which may be environmental factors [1]. The incidence of IBD continues to rise, especially in Western industrialized countries.

            There has been a lot of debate lately about dietary intake that may reduce or increase the risk of developing IBD.The incidence of IBD has been correlated with increased intake of refined sugar, animal fat, and decreased dietary fiber.

            The authors of the Prospective Study of Long-term Intake of Dietary Fiber and Risk of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, which included 170,776 healthy women aged 25 to 55 years, showed that an increase in dietary fiber, reduces the risk of Crohn’s disease (CD), but not ulcerative colitis (UC).

            These results provide an opportunity for clinicians to ask some provocative questions to the authors of the above study.

            1. Why is long-term fiber consumption associated with a reduced risk of Crohn’s disease, but not ulcerative colitis?

            Most environmental risk factors affect the development of CD and NUC in different ways. Recent systematic reviews have shown that a high-fiber diet reduces the risk of CD but does not affect the risk of ulcerative colitis.The biological mechanism that would help explain this phenomenon is not known, however, it may be related to changes that occur in the gut microbiome in Crohn’s disease differently than in NUC.

            2. How much fiber should be included in the diet to reduce the risk of CD?

            The authors of the study divided all participants into 5 groups, according to the amount of fiber consumed per day. It was shown that in the group of women who ate 24 g of dietary fiber daily compared with the group where the diet included only 12 g, the risk of developing CD was 40% lower.However, given the low incidence of CD among the study participants (n = 269), it was not possible to establish a threshold level of dietary fiber, which is necessary to reliably reduce the development of CD risk.

            3. What source of dietary fiber is the choice for preventing Crohn’s disease?

            Fruit consumption is associated with a reduced risk of CD. The average amount of fruit fiber that significantly reduced the risk of CD was 6 grams per day, which required eating 2 fruits (for example, 2 bananas or 2 oranges).In contrast to this finding, the consumption of vegetables, legumes, muesli, whole grains, and bran was not accompanied by a decrease in the risk of developing CD. However, the results of the study showed that the inclusion of large amounts of vegetables in the diet leads to a decrease in the risk of developing ulcerative colitis, which has not been demonstrated in previous studies.

            4. Can we conclude that high fiber intake protects all individuals from Crohn’s disease?

            Not yet.Since the prospective study included only healthy women who are well aware of a healthy lifestyle (Nurse’s Health Study). Therefore, extrapolation of findings to men and women over 50 should be done with great caution. Even in this study, women who ate high amounts of fiber were less likely to smoke, had a BMI of 2 more often, and took aspirin more regularly. Thus, in this group of women, in addition to consuming a large amount of dietary fiber, there were many other positively influencing lifestyle modifications.

            This study had several limitations such as age, the average age of the participants was 40 years, so it is necessary to conduct larger population studies that can cover individuals from different age groups.

            5. How should clinicians use the information obtained from this work in their practice?


            Institute of Medicine recommends a daily intake of 14 grams of dietary fiber for every 1000 calories [2].Thus, an adult woman and an adult man under the age of 50 should eat 25 and 36 g of dietary fiber per day, respectively. In the above study, the maximum amount of fiber consumed was 24 g, which is lower than the amount described in the clinical guidelines.

            The inclusion of a large amount of fiber in the diet leads to the regulation of the intestines, weight loss, lower cholesterol levels and the risk of developing diabetes mellitus.The results of this study showed that an additional benefit of consuming high amounts of fiber is a 40% reduction in the risk of developing CD. With this in mind, clinicians should educate their patients about the benefits of dietary fiber.


            The authors of this prospective cohort study demonstrated that long-term adherence to a diet rich in dietary fiber, especially of fruit origin, was associated with a reduced risk of CD.While larger population studies are needed to provide better guidance, experts can now use the results of the above study and recommend that their patients include sufficient fiber in their daily diet.

            Source: Gilaad G. Kaplan. Does Consuming the Recommend Daily Level of Fiber Prevent Crohn’s Disease? Gastroenterology, November 2013, Volume 145, Issue 5, Pages 925-927.


            1. Khor B, Gardet A, Xavier RJ. Genetics and pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Nature. 2011; 474: 307-317.
            2. Institute of Medicine. Dietary reference intakes for energy, carbohydrate, fiber, fat, fatty acids, cholesterol, protein, and amino acids. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2002; Accessed September 3, 2013, from: http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=030


            Healthy nutrition: 15 secrets of fiber

            It is a part of most plant organisms, as it is the basis of their cell walls, the most difficult to digest part of the plant.

            2. Fiber is soluble and insoluble.

            Soluble fiber turns into jelly on contact with water, insoluble fiber remains unchanged. Both types of fiber must be present in the daily diet.

            The fact is that beneficial bacteria cannot multiply in solution. Some bacteria choose mucous as their habitat, all others – undigested fiber.

            3. Any fresh vegetables and fruits can serve as a source of fiber, however, mulberry fiber is universal, suitable for absolutely everyone.

            Sources of soluble fiber – beans, oats, nuts, seeds, citrus fruits, berries. Sources of insoluble fiber are bran, carrots, and most vegetables.

            Soybeans contain both types of fiber.

            What is the daily allowance for fiber?

            4. The body’s daily fiber requirement is at least 25 grams.

            It can be provided by eating 1 kg of oatmeal, 0.5 kg of beans, 2.5 kg of cabbage … Such volumes are hardly capable of overpowering a modern man.

            High technologies have come to the aid of those wishing to eat right, which allow to preserve the maximum amount of fiber in thin high-fiber crispbreads.

            So that the daily requirement for this valuable element can be satisfied by only 100 g of breads .

            5. If you decide to increase your fiber intake, do so gradually.

            Add the minimum amount of vegetables and fruits you like every day for several weeks.

            A sudden transition to a diet based on fiber will inevitably lead to bloating and many other very uncomfortable conditions.

            Why is fiber good for you?

            What are the benefits of fiber?

            6. Fiber is the best way to maintain a normal microflora composition.

            7. Fiber helps prevent diabetes: It significantly lowers blood sugar levels.

            Fiber also helps to monitor health status and regulate the menu if diabetes is already present.

            In this case, it is worth discussing with your doctor the amount of fiber you eat and the foods from which you can get it.

            8. Fiber is one of the most effective ways to lower cholesterol levels and, as a result, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

            People who regularly consume enough fiber have 60% lower cholesterol levels than those who ignore plant foods.

            9. Until recently, people with digestive disorders were advised to limit their intake of fiber.

            However, with the accumulation of data and more accurate research, it became clear that it is precisely the lack of fiber that leads to these disorders or stimulates their development.

            It helps to cope with many functional and inflammatory bowel diseases, and also prevent them in the future.

            10. Daily consumption of foods containing fiber is one of the most effective ways to prevent colon cancer.

            Myasnikov explained the value of fiber for the body

            In the minds of most people, the body needs three main macronutrients for normal functioning: proteins, fats and carbohydrates. However, Dr. Myasnikov adds one more to them – fiber. In nutrition, this macronutrient plays a huge role, namely, it prevents many diseases.It does not contain calories, but vitamins are more than enough.

            Fiber, which is a dietary fiber, is soluble (vegetables, fruits, legumes) and insoluble (grains). It acts as a dispenser in the formation of a food lump. “Everything is absorbed where it should be,” the specialist explains.

            “It is important not just to deliver a micro- or macroelement, it is important to deliver it at the right time to the right place. Fiber does this,” says Myasnikov in the program “On the Most Important”.

            For example, white rice has no fiber, and its use dramatically raises blood sugar levels, unlike, for example, brown rice. The medic also recommends giving preference to whole fruits over fresh juices, since fiber is left out in the preparation of the drink.

            “What is fiber for? It lowers the level of bad cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes,” says Myasnikov.

            According to the results of a study conducted among 22 thousand men aged 50-60 years, the use of fiber reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke by 40-50%.In addition, it contributes to the prevention of cancer.

            “Lack of fiber is a proven risk factor for the development of cancer, in particular of the large intestine,” the doctor notes and urges people to avoid food products in the diet, where trans fats, salt and sugar are present in large quantities.

            “Benefits – zero, calories – the sea. We will not get away from this, but we must try”, – says Alexander Leonidovich. In his opinion, proper nutrition is based on whole foods.These are vegetables, fruits, meat and fish, not cutlets and sausages. After all, everything that the food industry has had a hand in is, for the most part, frankly harmful. Fiber, which is best obtained from food, he also allows you to replace it with a pharmacy, the daily rate of which is 20-30 grams.

            “We must eat right and remember that we get more than enough fats, carbohydrates – just with our heads, there is no deficiency in proteins either, but many of us lack fiber.And this leads to disease “, – sums up the doctor.

            Even more interesting news – in our Instagram and Telegram channel @smotrim_ru

            90,000 Nutritional Profile of Morbid Obesity Patients Treated at the South Indian High-Tech Health Care Center | Joseph


            Obesity is rapidly spreading across continents and is a major public health problem in modern society [1].Morbid obesity is a medical term describing people with a body mass index (BMI) over 40 kg / m2 or 35 to 40 with significant medical problems caused by being overweight or progressing with weight gain [2]. It is a serious pathology that adversely affects the physical, mental and social well-being of a person. Morbid obesity significantly increases the risk of developing many diseases, such as diabetes mellitus, arterial hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease and cancer [3].

            The prevalence of obesity and morbidity are growing rapidly in both developed and developing countries [3]. The global burden of obesity is 9.8% (7.7% for men and 11.9% for women). According to forecasts, by 2030, 1.12 billion people worldwide will be obese [4].

            In the United States of America, there is a rapid increase in the prevalence of obesity with various BMIs. For BMIs over 40 and 50, the increase ranged from 50% to 75% over the period from 2000 to 2005. [5].

            Data from the Gulf countries showed that the highest prevalence of obesity is observed in the group of women aged 30 to 60 years.Overweight and obesity were found among 70–85% of men and 75–88% of women in Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia [6].

            In Asia, the highest prevalence of obesity (6.8%) is observed in Thailand [7], followed by Singapore [8] (6%) and China (4%) [1].

            The first phase of the Indian Council of Medical Research study, conducted in three states of India, showed that the prevalence of obesity classified according to the WHO recommendations for the Asia-Pacific region [3] ranges from 11.8% to 31.3% and significantly higher among urban dwellers than in rural regions [9].

            The most important reason for this “epidemic” of obesity was a change in the diet: replacing traditional food rich in dietary fiber with refined fast food. Excess consumption of easily digestible, high-calorie foods, combined with reduced physical activity, has led to a positive energy balance in the general population.

            This cross-sectional study included morbid obesity patients who were followed up at the Bariatric Surgery Clinic, Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Christian Medical College, St.Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India.

            Materials and Methods

            The study involved 113 patients with a BMI of more than 35 kg / m2, who were followed up at the Clinic for Bariatric Surgery for 6 months (from June to December 2016). None of the patients had dietary counseling prior to the study.

            Patient demographics were obtained through face-to-face interview using a pre-tested questionnaire. All patients were examined by an endocrinologist.Anthropometric data, including weight, height, waist and hip circumference, were obtained using standard measurements (n = 113). BMI was interpreted in accordance with the WHO recommendations for the Asia-Pacific region [3].

            Nutritional assessment was performed by a qualified dietitian using a 24-hour food diary and a questionnaire on the frequency of consumption of various foods. The Frequency of Food Consumption Questionnaire was used to obtain information on the presence and place in the diet of cereals, legumes, vegetables, fruits, nuts and oilseeds, milk and dairy products, meat, eggs and poultry.To ensure the accuracy of the data, standard vessels and images of various products were used.

            The food ration was calculated on the basis of the book “Nutritional value of Indian food” [10]. Patients were provided with individualized dietary recommendations for optimal nutrient intake and consistent weight loss.

            The study protocol was in accordance with the ethical principles of the 1975 Declaration of Helsinki (revised in 2000) and was approved by the Observatory Committee of the Christian Medical College, St.Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India (LEK, No. 1014 dated 22-06-2016).

            Statistical analysis was performed using SPSS Statistics, version 18. To establish a correlation between nutritional status, on the one hand, and demographic and anthropometric data, on the other hand, the Chi-square test and Pearson’s correlation coefficient were used. Analysis of variance and retrospective analysis (Bonferroni correction) were performed to examine regional differences in nutrient intake. The p <0.05 values ​​were taken as statistically significant.


            Initial data

            The study included 113 patients with morbid obesity. Their baseline characteristics are presented in Table 1. The average age of the subjects was 37.6 years (SD 12.6). The sample also included eight adolescents in the 13 to 17 age group. More than 90% of the patients were female. Half of the sample received a higher than secondary education. Most of the study participants were from East India (West Bengal).Eight patients (7.2%) came from neighboring countries: Bangladesh and the Gulf States. Three quarters of the subjects were married. More than half of the study participants had diabetes.


            Men (SD)

            Women (SD)

            Average weight, kg

            116.4 (27.0)

            96.4 (14.6)

            Average height, cm

            169.9 (9.0)

            156.9 (6.0)

            Average BMI

            42.5 (13.1)

            39.3 (4.8)

            Waist circumference, cm

            124.7 (22.2)

            115.5 (13.9)

            Hip circumference, cm

            119.9 (16.2)

            121.5 (11.9)

            The ratio of waist to hip circumference

            1.0 (0.1)

            0.95 (0.1)

            Waist-to-height ratio

            0.73 (0.1)

            0.74 (0.1)

            Table 2 above presents the anthropometric characteristics of only adult participants in the study (over 18 years old) with morbid obesity (BMI> 34.9).All values ​​of anthropometric parameters exceeded the reference values ​​for the Asia-Pacific region [3]. Men had higher BMI scores than women. In men, the average waist circumference (124.7 cm) was greater than the average hip circumference (119.9 cm), in women it was the other way around (115.5 cm and 121.5 cm, respectively).

            Nutritional value and nutrients

            Both male and female participants in the study consumed over 2,200 calories per day.The main contribution to the total daily calorie intake was made by fats. There was a deficiency in protein intake.

            To prevent bias in the results, 49 patients (women n = 38, men n = 1) were excluded from this analysis, who deliberately underestimated the daily calorie intake in the food diaries (total calorie intake <1800 kcal / day).

            Fig. 1. Energy and nutrient intake of male and female study participants, as a percentage of the RDA.

            The figure shows the nutrient and energy intake of study participants as a percentage of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). It is clear that the consumption of fat and energy significantly exceeds the RDA for both men and women. On the contrary, this population is characterized by micronutrient deficiencies.

            Differences in nutrient and energy intake by gender and region

            ANOVA was performed to identify regional differences in nutrient intake in patients from South India (Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh), East India (West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand), Central India (Madhya Pradesh , Maharashtra) and neighboring countries (Bangladesh and the Persian Gulf).

            In the female population (n = 54), there was a significant difference in the intake of fiber (p <0.001) carotene (p = 0.025), niacin (p <0.001), folic acid (p <0.019), calcium (p <0.022) and iron (p <0.001) between different areas. Taking into account the Bonferroni amendment, it was possible to establish that the lowest consumption of these micronutrients is typical for patients with morbid obesity living in the southern regions of India, the highest for their compatriots from East India.

            Taking into account the Bonferroni amendment, it was also possible to establish that there are differences in nutrient intake depending on the region of residence: the lowest consumption of micronutrients is typical for patients with morbid obesity living in the southern regions of India, the highest for their compatriots from East India.

            In the male population (n = 10), there was a significant regional difference in protein (p = 0.039) and energy (p = 0.024) consumption. Using Student’s t test, it was found that the highest protein and energy consumption is characteristic of men living in South India.

            Table 3. Average data ( SD) on the energy value of food and nutrient intake per day for male and female patients








            Energy, kcal





            Protein, g





            Fats, g





            Carbohydrates, g





            Fiber, g





            Calcium, mg





            Phosphorus, mg





            Carotene, μg





            Thiamine, mg





            Riboflavin, mg





            Niacin, mg





            Folic acid, mg





            Iron, mg





            % of calories from carbohydrates.





            % of calories from protein





            % of calories from fat.





            Anthropometric characteristics showed a positive correlation with the intake of various nutrients, which was revealed using the Pearson’s correlation coefficient.In women, BMI positively correlated with the intake of proteins (r = 0.413, p = 0.002), carbohydrates (r = 0.280, p = 0.040), fat and negatively correlated with the intake of vitamin C (R = -0.319, p = 0.019). Hip circumference correlated with carbohydrate intake (r = 0.285, p = 0.040). There was a strong positive correlation between fiber intake and micronutrients. High fiber intake provided good intake of trace elements such as iron (r = 0.455, p = p <0.001), riboflavin (r = 0.567, p <0.001), niacin (0.479, p <0.001), folic acid (r = 0.791, P <0.001) and vitamin C (r = 0.715, p <0.001).

            In the male population, a positive correlation was found between waist circumference and energy consumption (r = 0.029, p = 0.029), hip circumference, and fat and iron intake (r = 0.851, p = 0.007; r = 0.776, p = 0.024).

            Patients were divided into 4 quartiles based on BMI. Analysis of variance and retrospective analysis with Bonferroni correction showed that patients with the highest BMI had the highest protein intake (p = 0.017).

            Qualitative characteristics of the food ration

            Qualitative characteristics of the diet were obtained based on the analysis of data from a subsample of patients (n = 52).Most of the participants were non-vegetarians (84.7%) and ate fish, meat and eggs. Almost half of the participants skipped one meal or another (42.3%). Most often, missed meals were for breakfast (86.4%). Three quarters (73.3%) of them reported that lunch was the most dense meal. Refined food products were consumed by 84.6%. All participants consumed fried snacks and baked goods three to four times a week. Carbonated drinks were also popular. The average consumption of fruits and vegetables (n = 52) was 207.14 + 117.7 g / day, water – 2.05 + 1.01 liters per day.The daily consumption of oil for cooking was 31.6 + 14.9 g / day.


            There are few studies on the nutritional status of obese patients in India. In this work, an attempt has been made to study the dietary habits of patients with morbid obesity and to identify regional differences in food intake.

            In the course of our study, an excess energy consumption of 510 kcal / day in the female population and 100 kcal / day in the male population was revealed.Regional analysis showed that Indians from the southern regions consumed significantly more calories than residents in other parts of India. We had to exclude data from forty-nine study participants because they deliberately underestimated the declared daily calorie intake in the food diaries. The provision of inaccurate information is not uncommon in the group of obese patients [11]. A study conducted in the United States showed that 35–38% of men and women declare lower intake of nutrients and energy than they actually are [12].These findings are important for research in the nutritional and epidemiology of obesity.

            Fat consumption exceeded the RDA for Indians [10]. Fats added during cooking were a significant source of calories. The average amount of vegetable oil used for daily cooking was 31.6 ± 14.9 g / day. Excessive caloric intake, mainly from fat, for a long time leads to the formation of excess body fat and the development of obesity.

            The diet of the study participants was characterized by a protein deficiency. Male participants from South India consumed significantly more protein than the sample as a whole. There were no regional differences in protein intake among the female sample.

            Similar data were published from a Spanish study in morbid obese patients (BMI 48.2 ± 7.8 kg / m2). The authors found that the average energy consumption was 2584 ± 987 kcal / day for men and 2094 ± 669 kcal / day for women (p <0.05).Fat accounted for 41.9% of the daily calorie intake in men (CI 39.6 to 44.2) and 43.0% in women (CI 41.7 to 44.8) (13). Protein intake in this population was 19.1% of calories in men (CI 17.7 to 20.5) and 17.3% in women (CI 16.4-18.1).

            It was not surprising to find that micronutrient intakes were below the RDI. Deficiencies in micronutrients such as carotene, riboflavin and iron have been identified. This can be attributed to the low consumption of fiber-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. According to the recommendations of the National Health Service (UK), it is necessary to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day (1 serving = 80 g) [14].The results of our study indicate an insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables: 207.14 + 117.7 g / day, which is much lower than the recommended one and leads to micronutrient deficiencies. Overweight or obese patients should include fruits and vegetables with every meal. Thus, the current obesity-promoting diet must be replaced by a balanced diet. Thus, the Spanish program for obese people with a BMI of 45.5 kg / m2 showed positive changes in body weight against the background of a gradual increase in the consumption of fruits and vegetables at the 3rd and 6th months of observation [15].Hence, instilling healthy eating habits and reinforcing them over short periods of time have promising results.

            Evaluation of the frequency of consumption of various foods showed that cereals formed the basis of each meal (from 56% to 60% of total calories). The South Indian population had the lowest fiber intake and this can be attributed to polished rice, which is the staple food in the region. Stripped of nutrient-rich fiber and B vitamins, this refined cereal is available at a subsidized cost.Millet (millets, small grains with a high fiber content), which was a staple of earlier generations, has a lower glycemic index due to its high fiber content and a higher satiety index. These nutritious grains need to be introduced into the public distribution system so that they can be made available at a subsidized price. Wheat is the staple food of the East and Central Indian population.

            Most of the study participants consume fish, meat and poultry less than three times a week.The main sources of protein are milk, legumes, and refined grains. There are significant differences in cooking habits. So, among the inhabitants of East India, it is a common tradition to fry fish before further cooking. Mustard oil is popular with East Indians, while others prefer refined vegetable oils.

            In a review article on snacking patterns in obese / overweight individuals, snacking frequency, food quality, and snacking conditions have been shown to promote the consumption of excess energy from fat with relatively little food intake.Obese / overweight patients are characterized by indiscriminate snacking, often even in the absence of hunger and in response to non-physiological stimuli. Thus, the pattern of food intake during snacking is the main cause of obesity. Interventions to reduce snacking should influence food choices and behavior change [16].

            Replacing fast food with fresh fruits and vegetables will not only reduce calorie intake, but also compensate for micronutrient deficiencies in this group of patients.

            A study with adults in France showed that sweets, muesli bars, biscuits and sodas were mostly consumed as snacks [17]. A Brazilian study has shown that snacking is more common in the evening and at night. Here, the top five most popular snacks include sweet coffee and tea, sweets and desserts, fruits, sugary sugary drinks, and high-calorie salgado (fried / baked dough with meat / cheese / vegetables) [18].

            Participants in our study ate fried snacks, baked goods, and traditional Indian sweets that are high in carbohydrates and fats. Carbonated drinks and western fast food (hamburgers, pizza) were more popular with the younger generation. Most of them ate snacks even when they were not hungry.

            Evaluation of eating patterns showed that almost half of the study participants skipped one meal or another, mainly breakfast. They did not deny themselves a high-calorie snack in the middle of the morning (9-10 hours, approx.transl.) and late evening / at night. Lunch was the most dense meal for 84.6% of the study population. Recent evidence suggests that irregular eating and snacking in the evening can be detrimental to weight control. That said, adherence to a diet is critical to weight management [19].

            A recent epidemiological study in France has shown that increasing the number of meals reduces total insulin, insulin resistance, and improves glycemic control and lipid profile.The authors recommend dividing the total energy intake into as many meals as is customary in a given society, while not exceeding the daily calorie requirement and maintaining a balance of macro- and micronutrients [20]. The main problem of the population of our country is “constant chewing during the day”, which is the root cause of excess calorie intake.

            Anthropometric characteristics of study participants, such as BMI, waist circumference and hip circumference, are positively correlated with protein, carbohydrate and fat intake.Therefore, the key to weight loss in these patients is to reduce daily macronutrient intake.

            To our knowledge, this is the first study conducted in South India to analyze the nutritional status of morbid obese patients. The limitation of the study is that the data on the patients’ nutrition were obtained using a food diary and a questionnaire on the frequency of consumption of various foods. The accuracy of these sources of information is questionable: patients may overestimate or, conversely, underestimate the actual intake of nutrients and daily calories.In our study, about a third of the participants declared lower intake of calories and nutrients per day; these data were not analyzed. Research conducted using more objective methods will yield more accurate information.


            Obese patients require close and regular follow-up by a specialized team of endocrinologist, psychiatrist, nutritionist, bariatric surgeon and social worker. This is necessary for the formation of sustainable changes in eating behavior and the achievement of the desired body weight within an acceptable period of time.


            Dr Mini Joseph would like to thank the University Grant Commission, New Delhi, for the awarded UGC Fellowship 2015-2017.

            90,000 Children’s energy and nutrient requirements

            Energy requirements

            Young children have a higher energy consumption per kilogram of body weight than adults because some of it is spent on growth. Children 2-3 years old spend about 3% on growth, and older children – less than 2% of the received energy.

            Average energy requirement for children aged 1-2 years per kg of body weight and estimated daily requirement based on average weight. The amount of energy takes into account breast milk (or formula) and age-appropriate solid foods.

            Age in years






            kg day

            kg *

            kcal / per day







            The total amount of energy required in children and adolescents depends on the metabolic rate, level of physical activity and the amount of energy spent on growth.

            Within the same age group, the weight of children can vary significantly, especially during adolescence. When calculating the amount of energy required that, for example, in overweight children, the result may be too high, since the main criterion for calculating is precisely the body weight. Estimating the amount of energy required based solely on body weight does not take into account that an overweight body contains a relatively high percentage of fat, but it is still necessary to calculate energy requirements from normal weight.Therefore, when calculating the required amount of energy consumed for an overweight child, one should proceed from his height and the corresponding normal body weight.

            Daily energy requirement for children aged 2-10 years (kcal / per day)

            / day per day


            9006 9000

            9006 9006


            Age in years

            Weight (kg)

            Physical activity level





            kcal / day


























            23.7 9006


            1400 9000 1550










            9 0004 10

























            90 004 1560




















            Nutrient requirements




            7 9172 9172 fatty acids in the recommended amount of energy for adults and children over two years old.

            Unsaturated fatty monoacids

            Nutrients, fatty acids

            Medium recommendation

            Proteins 2

            10-20% E


            25-35% E


            Saturated fatty acids

            10% maximum E 9640006

            10-20% E

            Unsaturated fatty polyacids, incl.h.

            5-10% E


            minimum 1% E

            trans fat

            As little as possible 4

            Carbohydrates 3

            50-60% E

            1 The percentages given in the table satisfy at least 97-98% of the physiological needs of a person

            2 If based on a person’s needs for some objective reason (for example, losing weight or something else), daily energy consumption is below the recommended minimum, the required amount of proteins and fats should be calculated based on the minimum amount of energy required per day

            3 Percent energy from carbohydrates also includes energy from dietary fiber; it is usually 2-3% E

            4 Trans fats are also natural.Their constant content should not exceed more than 1% E per day. It is impossible to consistently exceed this amount by following these nutritional guidelines

            Protein requirements

            Recommended protein intake for infants is based on an assessment of the basic needs and requirements for growth, the efficiency of protein conversion into body proteins and individual growth rate. For children aged 12-21 months, protein should make up 10-15% of the dietary energy.

            Excessive protein intake in early childhood increases the risk of obesity in the future.Based on the available data, it can be assumed that excessive protein intake in the amount of 15-20% of all energy consumed during the first two years of life can provoke obesity at a later age.

            According to the recommendations, up to 75% of the protein in the diet of children and adolescents should come from animal protein with high bioavailability.

            Fat requirement of young children

            1-1.9 years

            Fats, incl.h

            30-40% E

            Saturated fatty acids

            Maximum 10% E

            unsaturated fatty monoacids

            10-20% E

            unsaturated fatty polyacids, incl.

            5-10% E


            minimum 1% E

            trans fat

            As little as possible

            When a child reaches the age of one year, the proportion of fat in the diet gradually increases, and by the age of three it reaches the level of consumption of an adult.If less fat is consumed in early childhood than recommended, this can cause a lack of energy.

            Fiber requirement

            From the age of two, a child needs 8-13 grams of fiber for every thousand kilocalories. From school age, this number increases and gradually reaches the level recommended for adults.

            Advice on added sugar.

            Daily amount added sugars (sucrose, fructose and carbohydrate hydrolyzate) should be kept below 10% E (ideally below 5% E).

            Requirement for liquid

            In case of thirst it is always worth giving preference to drinking water without additives. The need for fluid in children per kilogram of weight is higher than in adults, since the fluid content in their bodies is also higher. Regardless of age, the feeling of thirst is a sign of a lack of fluid, which must be eliminated as soon as possible, that is, replenish the level, preferably with ordinary drinking water.

            Average fluid requirement of children by age group


            Total fluid requirement per kilogram of weight

            2-3 years

            100-120 ml

            4-6 years old

            75-100 ml

            Over 7 years old

            At least 50 ml

            Vitamin requirements

            Niacin, NE 2



            9006 975 1 , 0




            Vitamin A, RE 1

            Vitamin D, μg

            Vitamin E, mg

            Vitamin B1, mg

            Vitamin B2, mg

            Vitamin B6, mg

            Folate, μg

            V itamine B12, μg

            Vitamin C, mg

            1-1.9 years











            2-5 years











            6-9 years












            10-13 years









            Young people

            10-13 years









            1. retinol equivalents ”( RE) = “equivalent to retinol activity” RAE.retinol equivalent (RE, µg-ekv) = 1 µg retinol = 12 µg beta-carotene
            2. Niacin equivalent: 1 niacin equivalent (NE) = 1 mg niacin (from 60 mg tryptophan, 1 mg of niacin can be synthesized in the body)
            Requirement minerals
            9006 9007

            0 9

            9006 9000


            Calcium, mg 1

            Potassium, g

            Magnesium, mg

            Iron, mg

            Zinc, mg 9000 9004 Copper, mg

            Iodine, µg

            Selenium, µg

            1-1.9 years









            2-5 years


            9007 6








            6-9 years









            10-1375 years







            Young people

            10-13 years



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