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MOM4TWO1 SparkPoints: (12,073)
Fitness Minutes: (8,049)
Posts: 103
3/17/13 11:58 A

i've started concentrating on eating more fiber as i head towards 50 and fiber one cereal in the morning pretty much takes care of the daily requirements. i did need to add a bunch more water to handle it though

LEANGIRL66 Posts: 13
3/17/13 11:52 A

I am 69 almost 70. I went to a dietician because I am prediabetic and also have HBP. She put me on a 1400 low sodium diet. She also said I should get about 21 grams of fiber. Sometime it is not enough for me. I increase it about 3-5 grams when I need to. I also drink more water. emoticon

MISSRUTH Posts: 4,299
3/17/13 9:11 A

This has nothing to do with fiber, since I reckon that's been covered pretty well already.

Rather, it's in response to a comment included in a pp's fiber response.

I got interested in the "older people need less calories" thing some time back, because I'm over 50. I reckon I could say I'm closer to 60 but who wants to admit THAT?

Anyway, all this info is *in general*; it does not speak to any one person's particular circumstances. According to the Mayo Clinic, in general, older people are less active (this makes sense; the kids are grown & gone, less activity keeping up with them, less housework with no kids, perhaps some arthritis or another condition associated with aging that makes activity more challenging, etc). As part of the aging process, your basal metabolic rate drops over time, heart rate becomes slower, muscle mass decreases and body fat takes its place.

According to research at Tufts, from about 45, you lose 1% per year of muscle mass. By 50, you're losing 1 - 2% per year, and by 70 a person has 20% less than they had at age 36.

If a person's BMR (and age is part of the BMR equation) is lower, they're less active in general, and they're losing muscle mass-- well it makes sense that they'd need less calories per day. Muscles are what burn the calories; if you have less, you'll burn less.

I was aghast when I read this stuff. Sure, I knew about bone density loss, and skin losing its elasticity etc. I don't know why it never occured to me that there'd be these other changes too. sigh. All the more reason to be sure to be including strength training, as well as cardio.

Edited by: MISSRUTH at: 3/17/2013 (10:01)
3/16/13 9:36 A

belly trouble and comfort is another reason most folks do not get above 50 grams. Thanks for sharing.

NAUSIKAA Posts: 4,848
3/16/13 7:34 A

Dietician Becky, thanks for that info. I did not realize there was a healthy upper limit on fiber! I used to get between 60-70 grams, not every day by any means, but a few times/week (I would often eat a scary amount of broccoli!). Lately I have changed my diet significantly and get an average of only 22g and have been trying to increase it a little bit. I think the main reason mine is on the low side is because I average 1300 calories and if I were to eat just a little more, I would naturally hit 25g. I will make more of an effort to increase the fiber by a few grams/day. But I definitely won't go back to my old ways of 60-70g!!! (should have listened to my angry tummy anyway)

3/15/13 1:42 P

There is an upper limit for safety regarding intake of fiber.
It is set at 50 grams per day.
Excessive fiber can bind with other nutrients that need to be absorbed by the body.
As you can tell, getting to 50 grams would take a lot of fruits, veggies, beans, daily. Not an issue for most people.


LOVEMOUSE82 SparkPoints: (3,788)
Fitness Minutes: (2,976)
Posts: 349
3/14/13 8:32 P

It sounded like you were worried about possibly getting too much? But I don't think I've ever really heard of a person getting too much fiber, the problem is usually the opposite. Unless you have diverticulitis or something.

I mean, you're probably not going to eat an excess of broccoli, or if you did, I don't see it doing anything harmful....correct me if I'm wrong, dietician Becky?

Edited by: LOVEMOUSE82 at: 3/14/2013 (20:33)
SLASALLE SparkPoints: (275,055)
Fitness Minutes: (104,204)
Posts: 11,880
3/14/13 5:13 P

Thanks to both of you for the reply/information. I'm actually very active for being almost 55 years old, so should probably continue to shoot for 25-35.

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
3/14/13 3:09 P

Thanks for asking this question - it sent me on a very enjoyable little search for info on daily fibre recommendations!

It looks to me like the absolute minimum that the experts say anyone should have is 14g of fibre for every 1000 calories consumed (
), but that 25-35g is considered a reasonable range for any healthy adult. The reason behind the 21g for 50+ women is that it's based on an average, lower calorie diet (because apparently we magically quit needing as many calories when we hit 50 ... hmmm, another search...)

When I checked on the USDA site, they give this same info but without a high end, since they note no negative issues with exceeding minimum requirements.

Sites associated with diabetes and high cholesterol all aim towards higher ranges (minimum 25-35g for women) with notes that soluble fibre has been proven to help minimize sugar spikes and lower LDL.

So - it looks like both the 21g and the 25g-35g are basically correct, depending on whether you want just the absolute minimum based on an average caloric intake, or if you want a bit more in order to take advantage of the benefits of more fibre.

Thanks again for asking this question - I enjoyed learning more about this!

3/14/13 2:07 P

25-35 is a general range for all healthy adults, males and females.
The article is more specific and breaks it down by gender and age.

when older, consuming fewer calories, less fiber is usually obtained---therefore 21 grams is the lower limit. If you get 25-35 grams there is no danger. And 21 is only 4 grams less than the lower end of the range.

Dietitian Becky

SLASALLE SparkPoints: (275,055)
Fitness Minutes: (104,204)
Posts: 11,880
3/14/13 12:16 P

I was under the impression that your personal SparkPeople setup takes into account what your age (and weight) are in your program setup for calorie range, nutritional requiements, exercise and other things. Is this incorrect? Here's why I ask:

My eating plan/nutrient tracking says that I should get 25-35 grams of fiber in my diet daily. At the same time, the information about fiber under the Nutrition section of SparkPeople says that women over 50 only require 21 grams. 21 is a HUGE difference from 35. The Nutrition section does not give a range, but a single number.

Can you tell me which is correct and why the discrepancy? I really need to know if my SparkPeople plan does NOT take these kinds of things into account. This makes me wonder what else I may be getting too much or too little of in the way of nutrients (I'm aware of the extra calcium requirements after you turn 50, but have not yet checked this out on Spark to see if this is also a discrepancy).

Thanks for your help.


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