Study: Dietary Fiber Should Come from Multiple Sources

Consuming fiber from a variety of sources may be more beneficial to one’s health than limiting fiber intake to 1 type, according to research presented at the July 12th symposium at IFT15: Where Science Feeds Innovation, hosted by the Institute of Food Technologists in Chicago, Ill.
In addressing the audience at IFT15, Julie Miller Jones, PhD, LN, CNS, professor emeritus at St. Catherine University in Saint Paul/Minneapolis, Minn., noted that men typically take in about 18 grams of dietary fiber per day, while women get approximately 15 grams. In addition to pointing out that research suggests Americans fall well short of consuming the suggested amount of dietary fiber per day, Jones cited 2014 statistics finding a decline in the number of Americans who report trying to eat more fiber, with that number dropping from 73% in 2010 to 53% in 2014.

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Rather than considering strictly plant-based sources of fiber, Jones said that individuals should aim for a combination of fiber sources, including fiber that’s been added to food during the manufacturing process—fiber-fortified bread, cereals, yogurt, and pasta, for instance. She also noted that each type of fiber boasts its own benefits.
“We can’t expect all fibers to have the same functions, just like we don’t expect all vitamins to have the same functions,” Jones told the audience.
“The real problem,” she said, “is [that] we don’t know we have a problem. When you don’t know you have a problem, you don’t know how to address it. Thirty-five percent of the people in this country think we are getting enough fiber. So we really have a big job in terms of communication, in terms of telling people we aren’t getting enough fiber.

—Mark McGraw


Institute of Food Technologies. Consumers should seek a variety of fiber sources to get the maximum health benefits [press release]. July 14, 2015.