According to a study, food reformulation to increase fiber intake could lower disease risk.

July 25, 2022

A recent study from the UK suggests that changing the composition of meals including baked goods, yogurts, soups, and beverages may be able to assist people in achieving their daily fiber targets. Additionally, it implies that doing so will aid in weight control and lower the risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

About the Study

Using information from the U.K., the study assessed the nutritional intake of 2,723 participants aged 1.5 years and older, based from two years worth of the National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS). Despite the fact that the survey itself collected data over an eight-year period, researchers concentrated on the most recent two in order to identify the most recent trends. After analyzing the intake, researchers then found 915 foods and beverages that met the criteria for fiber enrichment. According to the NDNS data, these foods were those that were already routinely consumed, indicating that these hypothetically reformed foods were not wholly novel foods.

Finally, to establish whether the reformulations may enhance the fiber intake for all 2,723 participants, researchers plotted the inclusion of these foods. According to this model, compared to the baseline, more kids under the age of 10 would consume the recommended amount of fiber thanks to the reformulated meals. In addition, compared to baseline fiber intake, 50% more persons aged 17 to 94 would also meet needs. Despite the fact that these findings may seem like a terrific strategy to improve fiber intake, there are a few more factors to take into account. Here are the opinions of nutrition experts on increasing fiber consumption and why picking foods that are naturally high in fiber may be a preferable course of action.

More Than Just Fiber

While foods that have been fortified with fiber may include additional fiber, it's crucial to know what kind. For instance, there is insoluble fiber, which gives stool volume, and soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels. Oatmeal and beans include the former, while whole grains and nuts contain the latter. While common fortifiers like chicory root are primarily composed of soluble fiber, eating too much of them too fast has the potential to create GI irritation. Whatever method you use to boost your fiber intake, it is best to start out slowly. Although the prevention of chronic disease is the advantage of a diet high in fiber that receives the most attention, fiber is also your buddy if you want to achieve a certain aesthetic goal.

Adding Fiber—And Making It Easy

A fiber intake of 14 grams per 1,000 calories is advised by current recommendations. For someone who consumes 2,000 calories or more per day, this can seem like a difficult aim, but paying greater attention to meals and snacks and making a few deliberate additions of plant-derived foods can help. The idea is to keep things straightforward and affordable, beginning with breakfast.

According to her, higher-fiber cereals make a great topping for foods high in protein, such as yogurt and cottage cheese. Canned beans, on the other hand, can be a simple, affordable addition to your diet that provides a superior amount of fiber. Including beans in your meals also helps to maintain stable blood sugar levels throughout the day. However, it doesn't have to be difficult or expensive. If all else fails, try filling half of your plate with vegetables at most meals and avoiding juice in favor of whole fruits to get an extra burst of fiber. For instance, if you want to increase your intake of fiber, the freezer area can be your buddy.

Big Picture

While the most recent research suggests that increasing fiber consumption may have long-term advantages, it is equally vital to understand how fiber benefits us in our daily lives. Fiber is found in many foods that have a wide range of other advantages. To achieve your fiber requirements, think about eating whole foods, whether they are fresh, dried, canned, or frozen. Fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. These foods can all be incorporated into a balanced meal plan.

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