Are you getting enough fiber? If not, you may be putting yourself at risk for heart disease, according to a study published in the American Journal of Medicine. Researchers from Harvard Medical School found that there was a significant correlation between low fiber intake and health issues, such as cardiovascular inflammation and obesity. Additionally, the analysis revealed that the majority of Americans are not consuming enough fiber on a daily basis.

The scientists analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999-2010 and looked for consumption disparities between sexes, ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic groups.

“Our findings indicate that, among a nationally representative sample of non-pregnant U.S. adults in NHANES 1999-2010, the consumption of dietary fiber was consistently below the recommended total adequate intake levels across survey years,” said senior investigator Dr. Cheryl Clark in a press release. “Our study also confirms persistent differences in dietary fiber intake among socioeconomic status and racial/ethnic subpopulations over time.”

The Institute of Medicine, a nonprofit research organization, recommends that men aged 19 to 50 consume 38 grams of fiber a day and 30 grams for men over 50. Women aged 19 to 50 should get 25 grams a day, while those over 50 should get 21, according to the group. The study revealed that Americans currently have an average fiber intake of 16 grams per day.

A high-fiber diet can lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar levels and help you maintain a healthy weight. These changes in your overall health may make you eligible for lower life insurance rates. For a competitive life insurance quote, use our online quote engine to find out which life insurance policies may suit you best.