Most Americans consume nowhere near the amount of fiber they should.
Children and adults need at least 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day for good health, but most Americans get only about 15 grams a day. On the PLANTSTRONG Team, a typical day of eating includes 60-75 grams of fiber each day!
Fiber helps regulate the body's use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check. But the benefits reach far beyond blood sugar.
Here is an excerpt from Rip Esselstyn's book, The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet, on the critical importance of fiber intake.
Plant foods are the Big Daddy when it comes to fiber, which comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is found in foods such as oats, nuts, beans, barley, flax, carrots, apples, and oranges. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. It moves intact through the body and is found in leafy greens, root veggies, and whole grain foods.
Both forms of fiber are essential, and no matter which kind you choose, plants are Fiber Kings. Then again, there isn’t much competition: There’s zero fiber in meat. Zero in dairy products. Zero in eggs.
Why eat fiber?
Well the number-one reason is all about number two. Eat plants and discover a world in which constipation is a thing of the past. That’s right: Fiber is essential in keeping you unclogged and regular. It’s the key to a symbiotic and loving relationship with your intestinal tract.
Fiber is the indigestible stuff of plant food that sticks around with you from mouth to toilet, absorbing water toxins along the way and making your bowel movements easy like Sunday morning. And I don’t want to hear any crap about having to go to the bathroom more often. In general, the more often you poop, the more healthy you are. If you’re squatting on the john fewer than three times per week, you’re officially suffering from constipation. Your bowel movements should happen daily, and ideally, more than once. Consider this a newfound blessing and count each one as such; most people are cursed with a broken down gastrointestinal tract and are in a world of hurt caused by the wrong, weak, fiber-less foods.
And don’t just poop often. Poop big. As one study by University of Cambridge researchers involving 20 populations across a dozen countries found, the lighter your bowel weight is, the more likely you are to develop colon cancer. That’s right—strong food means strong big wonderful cow-patty-sized poops!
The benefits of fiber don’t just affect your rear end. High fiber intake has also been shown to control cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure levels, and to reduce the risk of breast cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Boosting your fiber intake by seven grams a day can reduce your risk of stroke by 7 percent—that’s just one serving of baked beans. In one recent study, Yale University researchers found that premenopausal women eating more than six grams a day of soluble fiber (just a cup of black beans) had 62 percent lower odds of breast cancer when compared with women who ate less than four grams.
As I’ve discussed in my previous books, one of the many disastrous consequences of following the standard American diet is eating minimal to no fiber. On day one of [following a PLANTSTRONG eating plan] you’ll start consuming between 50 and 75 grams of fiber every single day! As one of our pilot study participants said, “I consumed more fruits and vegetables on the first day of this program than I had the previous month!” And when you eat whole, PLANTSTRONG food with all of its glorious fiber naturally intact you’ll be forming a whole new relationship with your gastrointestinal tract, your colon, and your rectum. They will thank you for greasing up the skids with plant fiber, and you’ll be thanking them for the money you’ll be saving at CVS and Walgreens.
Cutting Your Risks
A Journal of the National Cancer Institute review found that for every 20 grams of fiber consumed per day, the risk of breast cancer is reduced by 15 percent—results that have been confirmed in more than a dozen separate studies. (For comparison, the average American consumes a scant 15 grams of fiber daily.)
In another study funded by the National Cancer Institute, just two teaspoons of ground flaxseeds a day was found to reduce on average the amount of precancerous changes in the breasts of women at high risk of breast cancer—and among breast cancer survivors, those who eat the most flaxseeds appear to live much longer.
So how do you increase your fiber intake?
Great sources are whole grains, whole fruits and vegetables, legumes, and nuts.
Want to stock your pantry with time-saving products that help you easily stack the fiber in your favor? Check out the fiber content per serving of our most popular PLANTSTRONG products below.
Rip's Big Bowl Cereal - 6 grams per serving
PLANTSTRONG Pizza Crust - 12 grams per serving
Firehouse Chili - 6 grams per serving, 12 grams per box
Creamy White Bean Chili - 5 grams per serving, 10 grams per box
Indian Lentil Stew - 5 grams per serving, 9 grams per box
PLANTSTRONG Granola - 2 grams per serving
The bottom line: Refined foods, stripped of fiber, will make you weak and sickly. Whole foods will make you strong and healthy. And that’s nothing but the whole truth.