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Curtis Harwell Discusses Why We All Need Lots of Fiber In Our Diet Plan

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Find out all the good things fiber can do for you

Getting enough fiber is something people don't think about all that often. Let's face it: Most of us haven't a clue how many grams of fiber we're taking in on a typical day.

And guess what? We're not even close to meeting the recommended intakes of 20-35 grams a day for healthy adults (25 daily grams for those eating 2,000 calories per day, for example, and 30 grams for 2,500 calories a day) according to the American Dietetic Association. The mean fiber intake in the U.S. is 14-15 grams a day.

We get fiber from unprocessed foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans, and most Americans aren't exactly loading their plates with these items. You'd be hard pressed to find any of them in your average fast-food value meal.

And Americans are definitely eating more prepared and processed foods. Consumption of food prepared away from home increased from 18% of our total calories to 32% of total calories between 1977 and 1996. All this "away" food not only has more calories and fat per meal than home-prepared foods, but also less fiber (on a per-calorie basis).

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