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The Future of Fiber:

Closing the Fiber Gap with just better.® Prebiotic Fiber Supplement                 

By: Kristin M. Hirano, MS, RD, CN, CD – Registered Dietitian

Introduction

97% of Americans do not eat enough fiber.[1]

Research has shown that this nutrient deficiency has been linked to multiple chronic health implications and consequences. Clinical studies demonstrate an inverse correlation between dietary fiber intake and the prevalence of chronic disease including obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Findings show that populations of people around the world who consume high fiber diets weigh less and have far less chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.[2]

Dietary fiber is found in plants such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.  Unfortunately, recent dietary trends have contributed to Americans consuming large amounts of highly processed, low fiber foods. These trends have resulted in widespread fiber deficiency among Americans. 

Most dietitians and healthcare professionals recommend a diet sourced from whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds in order to obtain sufficient intake of dietary fiber. 

However, some individuals may not be able to consume the recommended amount of fiber solely from their diet for a variety of reasons such as food restrictions due to allergies/sensitivities, lack of access, fast-paced/busy lifestyles, or simply due to cost. For those who cannot meet their dietary fiber goals on a daily basis, a fiber supplement may be advised.

A fiber supplement can be a simple and convenient way to improve dietary fiber intake without requiring individuals to dramatically change their food choices or force individuals to follow unsustainable restrictive diets.

just better.® prebiotic soluble fiber is tasteless and can be added to current foods and beverages to promote weight loss[3], prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes[4], reduce cholesterol[5] and triglycerides[6], resolve GI distress and provide fuel for the good probiotic bacteria in the gut[7].

The Fiber Deficiency Gap

Dietary fiber intake in the United States is alarmingly low.  Fiber deficiency is at the core of many of our most common chronic diseases including obesity, diabetes, and coronary heart disease.2

According to American dietary guidelines, adult men and women should be consuming 38 grams and 28 grams, respectively, of dietary fiber daily.[8]

 

 

Unfortunately, as noted above, 97% of Americans do not eat enough fiber.  In fact, most Americans only consume around 14 grams of dietary fiber per day, and some people consume much less.[9]

The following chart shows the amount of dietary fiber recommended in comparison to the average actual intake of American men and women.

 

 

 

Potential Reasons for the Fiber Deficiency Gap

  1. Diet Trends

Potential reasons Americans are not consuming enough fiber include weight loss diets and typical eating trends in the United States.

The number of active dieters in the United States is currently estimated at 97 million and the U.S. weight loss market is currently estimated to be worth a record $66 billion.[10] 

As a result, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of weight loss plans, diets and eating trends marketed through television, the internet, mobile devices and other forms of media. 

Many of the most popular diets and eating trends in the United States recommend carbohydrate restriction and often grain and fruit elimination, such as the low carb, Paleo, gluten free, Atkins, and ketogenic diets.

As a result, individuals who restrict their carbohydrates, including grains, fruits, legumes, and starchy vegetables are usually unable to consume the recommended amount of daily fiber.

Many fad diets push the idea that all carbs are bad.  Of course, overconsumption of some types of carbohydrates can be a problem for some people.  However in general – cutting an entire food group or food groups out of one’s diet is a recipe for nutrient deficiencies and other health issues.

 

  1. Historical Eating Trends

The following historical events are other potential reasons why fiber intake is so low among Americans:

  • After World War II, packaged/processed frozen meals (e.g., TV dinners) became popular.
  • In 1972 Atkins' Diet Revolutionwas published (which recommended a high protein and fat regimen and a diet extremely low in carbohydrates). 
  • In the 1990s, processed “diet” foods that were low fat, fat free, or sugar free became popular.
  • The fast food industry has grown significantly, with the United States having the largest fast food industry in the world.

 

  1. Other Potential Reasons

The fiber deficiency gap may also be caused by the following:

  • Prices tend to be higher for fresh, whole (unprocessed), and/or organic foods.
  • Individuals lack access to fresh, whole (unprocessed) and/or organic foods, especially in urban areas.
  • Individuals have lost interest or don’t know how to prepare and cook healthy meals with whole (unprocessed) foods.
  • Americans increasingly have busier lifestyles, without time to plan, shop, prepare and cook healthy meals and often rely on dining out, delivery services, or take-out (e.g. pizza).
  • Many health conditions that require a restricted type of diet may coincidentally be low in fiber. For example, those with IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) are often recommended to follow a low FODMAP diet and those with Celiac disease rely on a gluten free diet.

 

just better.® Prebiotic Fiber Supplement

Consuming a high fiber diet that emphasizes plants (whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, etc.) reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.

While dietitians and healthcare professionals recommend a high fiber diet from whole, unprocessed foods, most Americans struggle to consume the amount of fiber recommended daily.  Most people find it difficult to change their food choices and eating behaviors.  Even when individuals have adequate access to and can financially afford healthy, high quality, organic produce high in dietary fiber, making changes to one’s diet is incredibly challenging.  In addition, some individuals are forced to follow a limited low fiber diet due to allergies, food sensitivities or other conditions (e.g., IBS, Celiac disease, etc.).  Nevertheless, emphasis should still be on whole, unprocessed, foods high in dietary fiber.

For those who still cannot consume the recommended dietary guidelines for fiber – a fiber supplement may be advisable.

One such fiber supplement is just better.® prebiotic soluble fiber supplement.

just better.® prebiotic fiber has one ingredient:  Non-GMO soluble corn fiber (digestion resistant starch). That’s it!

 

just better.® prebiotic fiber supplement:

  • Has no taste/flavor/odor
  • Dissolves completely (no grit)
  • Can easily be added to hot or cold foods and beverages without adding excessive calories or sugars.
  • Temperature stable and can be used in cooking and baking.
  • Does not cause unpleasant GI side effects such as gas and bloating.

Introducing a powder prebiotic fiber supplement like just better.® that individuals can simply add to the foods and beverages they currently choose may be a more feasible behavior change that is realistic, practical, and sustainable. 

just better.® promotes weight loss by making individuals feel full faster and stay full longer[11] by decreasing hunger and increasing satiety hormones. Clinical studies have demonstrated that the ingredient in just better.® fiber prevents blood sugar spikes and crashes, reduces visceral (abdominal) fat, reduces cholesterol and triglycerides6, and provides fuel for the good probiotic bacteria in the gut.

In addition, just better.® is a simple way to increase one’s fiber intake without causing unpleasant and embarrassing GI side effects (such as excessive gas, bloating, etc.). 

 

Dose recommendations differ depending on intended health outcome.

            Dose recommendations:

  • To improve GI function and regularity: 1 to 2 Tbsp/day.
  • To reduce post meal blood sugar, insulin, and triglyceride levels: 1 Tbsp/meal
  • To increase satiety and promote weight loss, decrease LDL cholesterol, visceral (abdominal) fat, and improve glucose tolerance: 1-2 Tbsp/meal

 

Future Applications:

just better.® has numerous application possibilities and market potential due to the tremendous number of clinical studies that have been conducted on its one ingredient (Non- GMO digestion resistant soluble corn fiber).

            Application in the healthcare industry:

                        Weight loss/bariatric surgery

                        Diabetes

                        Gastroenterology – just better.® is a low FODMAP fiber.

                        Cardiology

                        Pediatric gastroenterology

Post-surgical procedures – To prevent common GI side effects (constipation) due to anesthesia and opioid pain medications

Oncology – GI distress due to chemotherapy, etc. – Cancer prevention

Rehabilitation – Assisted living – Skilled nursing facilities

 

                        Travel industry:

                        GI distress is common among those who travel

 

You can give your favorite food or beverage a healthy upgrade with just better.®

 

About the Author:

Kristin Hirano, MS, RD, CD, CN is a Registered Dietitian (1995) Board Certified in Adult Weight Management. She earned her Master of Science degree in Human Nutrition (1998) and Bachelor of Science degree in Food Science & Human Nutrition (1995). Kristin is a published research scientist in the field of obesity. Kristin specializes in the gut microbiome and how it influences body weight.

 

[1] Agricultural Research Service

 U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary fiber (g): usual intakes from food and water, 2003–2006, compared to adequate intakes. What we eat in America, NHANES 2003–2006.

Updated April 1, 2010 [cited 2012 Feb 20]. Available from: http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12355000/pdf/0506/usual_nutrient_intake_dietary_fiber_2003–06.pdf.

[2] Nutrients 201810(5), 628; doi:10.3390/nu10050628 The Association of Dietary Fiber Intake with Cardiometabolic Risk in Four Countries across the Epidemiologic Transition

[3] Nutr Res. 2015 May;35(5):393-400. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2015.03.004. Epub 2015 Mar

[4] Jpn Pharmacol Ther vol.42 no.5 2014 - Yukio KISHINAGA1), Fumika YAMADA1), Seiki NANBU2)

[5] Continuous Administration Tests of Indigestible Dextrin; II: Study on the effects of the improvement of fat metabolism in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus - Keiko Fujiwara and Akira Matsuoka - Department of Central Clinical Inspection, Hyogo College of Medicine Hospital - J. Jpn. Clin. Nutr. 1993 83(3) 301-305

[6] Effect of Carbonated Beverage Containing Resistant Maltodextrin Postprandial Serum Triglyceride and the Safety Evaluation of Long-term or Excessive Intake of the Beverage: Yumie KOBAYASHI1, Yuji KANEKO1, Mikio KATAYAMA1, Hiroshige ITAKURA2 - Jpn Pharmacol Ther, 2013, 41, 863-875

[7] Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 27, No. 2, 356–366 (2008) - A Novel Resistant Maltodextrin Alters Gastrointestinal Tolerance Factors, Fecal Characteristics, and Fecal Microbiota in Healthy Adult Humans - Nathaniel D. Fastinger, PhD, Lisa K. Karr-Lilienthal, PhD, Julie K. Spears, PhD, Kelly S. Swanson, PhD, Krista E. Zinn, MS, Gerardo M. Nava, MS, Kazuhiro Ohkuma, PhD, Sumiko Kanahori, MS, Dennis T. Gordon, PhD, and George C. Fahey, Jr, PhD

[8] US Department of Agriculture (USDA), US Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Washington, DC: USDA; 2005.

[9] What We Eat in America: NHANES 2011-2012.

[10] The U.S. Weight Loss & Diet Control Market 14th Edition by Marketdata LLC, published May 2017. https://www.marketresearch.com/Marketdata-Enterprises-Inc-v416/Weight-Loss-Diet-Control-10825677/ 

[11] Effect of Indigestible Dextrin on Visceral Fat Accumulation <full English translation>T Yamamoto, K Yamamoto, Y Fukuhara, T Fukui, Y Kishimoto, K Okuma, Y Matsuoka, K Isozaki, K Nagao, T Yamamoto, K Tokunaga【Journal of Japanese Society for the Study of Obesity, 2007, 13, 34-41】