Renew You Challenge

Let’s start this week off right!

Here is your newest weekly challenge (I mean opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar. Join us! 

I talk about fiber a lot because of its many health benefits, and because of its lack in the Standard American Diet (SAD). I, in addition to many other health experts, recommend the consumption of at least 35 grams of fiber daily, yet the average American intake is only between 10 to 15 grams—not even half the recommended amount. I’ve blogged about the value of fiber in teens’ diets before.

A recent study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism involving over 550 adolescents ages 14 to 18 found that the adolescents only consumed an average of 33 percent of the recommend amount of daily fiber. Those with the lowest fiber intakes had the highest amount of belly fat, or visceral adipose tissue (also known as VAT, the worst kind of fat), and the highest levels of chronic inflammation. Belly fat is considered an organ of its own, in part because it produces inflammatory chemicals and hormones, so it’s no wonder they found increased inflammation with increased belly fat. The two go hand in hand.

Is it any wonder the rate of diabetes or prediabetes in teens has increased from 9 percent in 1999 to 23 percent in 2008? Something needs to be done. This week, if you know a teen, talk to them about the importance of eating plenty of fiber. And emphasize that fiber comes from fruits and vegetables! Find out how to work more fruits and vegetables into their diet, and take a fiber supplement if they find it difficult to reach 35 grams of fiber daily.