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Nearly all Americans fail to eat enough of this actual superfood

Benefits of a fiber-rich diet

Eating a fiber-rich diet is associated with better gastrointestinal health and a reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, high cholesterol, obesity, type 2 diabetes, even some cancers. Fiber slows the absorption of glucose — which evens out our blood sugar levels — and also lowers cholesterol and inflammation.

Fiber doesn’t just help us poop better — it also nourishes our gut microbiome.

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Nearly all Americans fail to eat enough of this actual superfood

Nearly all Americans fail to eat enough of this actual superfood

https://www.vox.com/2019/3/20/18214505/fiber-diet-weight-loss

vox.com

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Key Ideas

Fiber gap

Only 5 percent of people in the US meet the Institute of Medicine’s recommended daily target of 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. That amounts to a population-wide deficiency.

Benefits of a fiber-rich diet

Eating a fiber-rich diet is associated with better gastrointestinal health and a reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, high cholesterol, obesity, type 2 diabetes, even some cancers. Fiber slows the absorption of glucose — which evens out our blood sugar levels — and also lowers cholesterol and inflammation.

Fiber doesn’t just help us poop better — it also nourishes our gut microbiome.

Processed foods and fiber

Instead of munching on fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds, more than half of the calories Americans consume come from ultra-processed foods. On any given day, nearly 40 percent of Americans eat fast food. These prepared and processed meals tend to be low in fiber, or even fiber free. 

Types of fiber

Fiber is a group of different kinds of plant-based carbohydrates that affect our gastrointestinal tract in myriad ways:

  • fiber can be soluble (meaning it dissolves in water);
  •  viscose (gel-forming);
  • fermentable (bacteria can metabolize it).

Closing the fiber gap

Consider snacking on whole fruits, replacing white bread with whole-grain alternatives, eating potatoes with the skins on, and tossing berries, nuts, and seeds on your yogurt, cereals, or salads, Lots of small changes can add up. If you like smoothies, throw your fruits, veggies, and nuts in a blender. Even baking does not destroy most fibers.

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What to eat

  • Animals (especially a "whole animal" approach, including organs, bone marrow, cartilage, and organs).
  • Animal products (such as eggs or honey).
  • Vegetables and fruits.
  • Raw nuts and seeds.
  • Added fats (like coconut oil, avocado, butter, ghee).

What to avoid

  • Grains, although research suggests eating whole grains improve our health and appear to be neutral when it comes to inflammation.
  • Heavily processed oils, such as canola and soybean oil.
  • Legumes, although research suggests the benefits of legumes outweigh their anti-nutrient content. Cooking eliminates most anti-nutrient effects. Some anti-nutrients may even be good.
  • Dairy.

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Best foods don’t have labels

Best foods don’t have labels
Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.

There is no "best diet"

The “best” diet is a theme: an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and plain water for thirst. 

That can be with or without seafood; with or without dairy; with or without eggs; with or without some meat; high or low in total fat.

The "Age" of vegetables

The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

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The urge to detoxify your body come January has nothing to do with a buildup of toxins. Feeling bloated and fatigued is the result of the entire gingerbread village you ate on Christmas and washed down with a gallon of champagne on NYE.

Your liver helps you detoxify

Pretty much everything you do ingest goes straight to your liver, where some complicated chemistry determines what to do with it. 

If it's something useful the liver sends it out into circulation, but if it's not immediately usable or could be harmful, your liver has enzymes to neutralize it and send it off as waste to be removed from the body through urine, mostly.

The best you can do to help your liver out is to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. That, and exercise.

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