ATLANTA (May 1, 2012) – The need for public and health professional education about dietary fiber is crucial since consumption of fiber is low enough to be of public health concern for both adults and children, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Objective and credible information on dietary fibers is now available on the Web via a new site - www.fiberfacts.org.
The new website, developed by the Calorie Control Council, an international non-profit trade association:
- Provides consumers and health professionals with objective, scientific information about types and sources of fiber, which are used worldwide in many products.
- Contains links to third-party health organizations and regulatory agencies and a section for health professionals with research, studies and other great resources.
- Explains the benefits of a high fiber diet.
"This resource is designed to provide consumers and health professionals with scientific and consumer friendly information about dietary fibers. Most people don’t know how much fiber they’re consuming per day, let alone how much they actually should be getting. This site will help educate both consumers and health professionals on the different types of fiber, foods and products that contain fiber and the benefits associated with a high fiber diet," noted Haley Curtis Stevens, Ph.D., president of the Calorie Control Council.
The health benefits of dietary fiber are widely recognized by experts in the scientific community and by government authorities. For example, the European Food Safety Authority Scientific Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies has noted in its Scientific Opinion on Dietary Reference Values for carbohydrates and dietary fiber that there is evidence of health benefits in adults associated with consumption of diets rich in fiber-containing foods at dietary fiber intakes greater than 25 grams per day, e.g. reduced risk of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes and weight maintenance.
Current intakes of total fiber fall well below the recommended levels. Current total fiber intake among American adults averages about 15 grams per day (NHANES, 2005-06). The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Food and Nutrition Board in collaboration with Health Canada has recommended that fiber be consumed at a rate of 14g total fiber per 1000 calories per day to reduce the risk of chronic disease. Recommendations for adult men are 30g - 38g total fiber per day, with 21g - 25g total fiber per day for adult women.
Fiber is found naturally in fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains. In addition, there are now more than 50 different types of fiber-containing ingredients to choose from. The availability of these additional sources of fiber makes it possible to increase the amount of fiber in foods containing inherent fiber, such as whole grain baked goods and cereals, as well as to fortify foods that traditionally do not contain any fiber such as fruit juices and yogurt.
Many health experts advise consumers to eat a wide range of dietary fibers from different sources, to obtain all of the benefits of different types of dietary fibers. All types of fiber are needed every day for the body to function well. “It is important to consume a variety of fibers for their unique effects for maximized health,” Stevens noted.
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Note: The Calorie Control Council, established in 1966, is an international non-profit association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of low-calorie and light foods and beverages, including the manufacturers and suppliers of more than a dozen different dietary ingredients. For more information, visit www.caloriecontrol.org