For many Americans, getting the recommended daily amount of nutrients can be challenging, especially when it comes to dietary fiber and calcium.
The National Academy of Sciences and the National Osteoporosis Foundation report that adult men and women require a daily calcium intake of 1,000 milligrams to 1,200 milligrams per day, the equivalent of four 8-ounce glasses of milk, to maintain good bone health. guarantee.
However, according to the National Institutes of Health, a large percentage of Americans do not meet recommended guidelines for optimal calcium intake, putting them at increased risk for osteoporosis, a significant health threat to both women and men and the leading underlying cause of bone . fractures in postmenopausal women and the elderly.
Americans are also facing a troubling national “fiber shortage”. According to Columbia University, the average fiber consumption averages 10 grams to 15 grams per day – less than half the recommended amount. Leading health experts and members of the National Fiber Council, whose website is http://www.national fibercouncil.org, encourage Americans to consume at least 32 grams of dietary fiber per day.
Fiber keeps the digestive system running smoothly and can help prevent many diseases. In fact, “soluble” fiber has been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by lowering cholesterol, and some studies indicate that fiber may help prevent type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
Here are some tips from Pat Baird, a member of the National Fiber Council and registered dietitian, about adding fiber and calcium to the diet:
- Start the day by combining fiber and calcium-rich foods, such as a bowl of whole grain cereal with milk, yogurt drizzled with fresh berries, or calcium-fortified orange juice.
- Choose healthy snacks such as cheese, nuts, popcorn with popcorn or cottage cheese
- Calcium can be found in foods such as broccoli, dried roasted almonds and dried figs – all of which are also sources of dietary fiber.
- Supplements, such as Metamucil Capsules Plus Calcium, which provides 3 grams of psyllium fiber and 300 milligrams of elemental calcium per serving, are a viable option for those unable to meet their daily calcium and fiber requirements by eating and drinking alone .