Home foods have highest fiber density in U.S. adults' diets

A chart showing fiber density by source of food, U.S. adults age 20 and older.

American adults consume an average of 15 grams of dietary fiber a day, far below the 25 grams recommended for women and 38 grams recommended for men. Intake data for U.S. adults age 20 and older from the 2005-08 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) reveal that at-home foods obtained at supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, and other retail outlets are richer in fiber than foods eaten at restaurants with wait staff, fast food places, and other away from home eating places. Home foods contained an average of 8.2 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories, compared with 6.8 grams in restaurant foods and lesser amounts in fast foods and other away from home sources. Intakes of over 7,000 foods reported by NHANES participants were converted into nutrient intakes using USDA's nutrient database. This chart appeared in "Food and Nutrient Intake Data: Taking a Look at the Nutritional Quality of Foods Eaten at Home and Away from Home" in the June 2012 issue of ERS's Amber Waves magazine.

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