The concept of this thesis is the importance of dietary fiber and how it can be further integrated into the American diet. The adequate intake (AI) of fiber for men and women is thirty-eight and twenty-five grams respectively. I was inspired to focus my research on increasing fiber intake because the typical American consumes fifteen grams of dietary fiber which is well below the AI. The purpose of this project was to inform individuals on the importance of dietary fiber, but also to create and compile recipes which would make it easy for people to increase their intake of dietary fiber. There are two parts to this project: a literature review and a cookbook. The literature review discusses the health benefits of fiber as to how its properties of viscosity and fermentability allow for weight loss, decrease appetite and energy intake, decrease postprandial insulin and glucose levels, impact gut health, lower blood lipid levels in order to protect against atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease, decrease inflammation, and reduce levels of inflammatory marker C-reactive protein. The cookbook provides the ideas for integrating high fiber foods into one's diet. There are three different categories in the cookbook: snacks, lunch and dinner, and breakfast. The snacks and breakfast provide around five grams of fiber per serving, if not more, whereas the lunch and dinner options provide around fifteen grams in a meal. Not only are these recipes high in fiber, but they are also nutrient dense, meaning they provide more than just the listed health benefits in the literature review. Having these recipes and increasing awareness of the benefits which they contain will help individuals to meet the AI of fiber while still enjoying delicious meals.
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