published Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Ask A Doctor: I know fiber is important to a healthy diet, so what should I focus on during the holiday season?

Dr. Shauna Lorenzo-Rivero

Q. I know fiber is important to a healthy diet, so what should I focus on during the holiday season?

A: As we celebrate time with good food and company, the subject of good health should enter conversation. How healthy is the traditional holiday dinner? You might be surprised. The FDA recommends 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day. Ninety percent of your daily fiber intake should come from the foods you eat. Increase your fiber intake gradually to avoid discomfort from gas and bloating. The typical holiday dinner has only 8 grams of fiber but more than 700 calories. The holiday all-stars are fruits and vegetables, but beware. Covered in sauce or sugar, they are no longer as healthy as they seem. Green bean casserole seems healthy since it has vegetables, but it has only 3 grams of fiber. Canned cranberry relish has no fiber, but the same amount of real cranberries has 4 grams of fiber. Adding a fiber supplement can help achieve a healthy fiber goal. Check the labels to take an appropriate daily dose.

-- Dr. Shauna Lorenzo-Rivero, University Surgical Associates; member, Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society

Readers: To submit a question for a medical doctor, email it to ccooper@timesfreepress.com.

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