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High-Fiber Diet


A high-fiber diet is a diet in which the individual consumes foods that meet or exceed the dietary reference intake (DRI) for dietary fiber set by the United States Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences.


No single person developed the high-fiber diet. Over the years, researchers have compared the rate of various chronic diseases in populations that had high-fiber diets with those that had lower dietary fiber intake. They found, for example, that native Africans who ate a high-fiber, plant-based diet are rarely bothered by constipation However, in industrialized countries where a lot of animal products are consumed, constipation is common. Observations like Common diets based on eating a diet low in carbohydrates and an increased consumption of proteins and fats. (Illustration by GGS Information Services/Thomson Gale.).

this encouraged researchers to look at other roles that dietary fiber might play in health. From their findings came a consensus that a high-fiber diet is a healthy diet. This is reflected in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005, which encourage people to eat more high-fiber foods such as whole grains.


The United States Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences has set dietary reference intakes (DRIs) for fiber based on research data that applies to American and Canadian populations. DRIs provide nutrition guidance to both health professionals and consumers. The current daily DRIs for fiber are as follows:

-    children ages 1-3 years: 19 grams
-    children ages 4-8 years: 25 grams
-    men ages 14-50: 38 grams
-    men age 51 and older: 30 grams
-    girls ages 9-18: 26 grams
-    adult women ages 19-50: 25 grams
-    women age 51 and older: 21 grams
-    pregnant women: 28 grams
-    breastfeeding women: 29 grams

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