I’ve written about all the health benefits of fiber—it’s a very important part of our diet, even a low-carb diet. And a study recently published in the journal Pediatrics concludes that eating lots of fiber-rich foods during high school years may reduce a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. Researchers found that women who ate higher levels of fiber (28 grams per day, on average) had a 24% lower chance of developing breast cancer before menopause compared with women who ate low levels of fiber (14 grams per day, average). And the women who ate more fiber cut their lifetime risk of developing breast cancer. This may be due to the fact that dietary fiber reduces circulation estrogen levels, and could also reduce breast cancer by improving insulin sensitivity, since fiber slows the absorption of sugars and keeps blood sugar stable. You may already know that fiber also aids in digestion and helps prevent constipation, but there are many other reasons why fiber is important. When you eat foods high in fiber you feel full faster, which can help you control your weight. Additionally a diet high in fiber can help lower cholesterol. Generally, women should consume 25 grams of fiber a day and men should consume 38 grams of fiber a day, but most Americans get far less.
This latest study shows how important it is to develop healthy eating habits early on, which will set the stage for improved health in adulthood. If you’re following the Atkins Diet, the fiber-rich vegetables and whole grains (plus the lack of processed foods and empty calories) are all healthy choices that will benefit your children and your family, as well. You can learn more by reading my blog, Here’s What You Need to Know About Fiber—it’s full of tips for boosting your fiber intake in every meal and snack.