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At this year’s American Meat Science Association conference, food scientists and nutritionists from the University of Missouri revealed that by adding citrus fiber to ground beef, the food receives an added boost of fiber, reports Nature World News.

As many of us know, fiber is an essential part of our diets and it helps us to maintain a healthy weight and lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease. We all need to get some of it every day – between 25 and 38 grams, that is. But according to the Centers for Disease Control, Americans consume only half of the recommended allowance of dietary fiber.

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Since many Americans are meat eaters, Ayca Gedikoglu, a doctoral student of food science, and Andrew Clarke, an associate professor of food science, from the University of Missouri decided to come up with a simple way that people can increase their daily fiber intake.

After some trials, Gedikoglu crafted a meatball recipe that contains fiber where it would otherwise be lacking. The secret ingredient was citrus fiber from oranges, and if added at the right amount, the meal does not alter the texture or taste but does get a little punch of much-needed fiber.

This is a clever way to sneak in some fiber to people’s diets, but the its slight addition shouldn’t underscore the reality of ground beef – it’s far from healthy at 182 calories, nine grams of fat, and 73 mg of cholesterol per serving for a pile of 90 percent lean meat / 10 percent fat content.

Moreover, fiber is already plentiful in a number of healthy and widely available foods including raspberries, apples, pears, whole grain pasta, oatmeal, barley, lentils, split peas, black beans, artichokes and broccoli, among others, and so there’s really no need to add fiber to an unhealthy food. Doing so could even fool people into thinking they are eating healthier thereby increasing the frequency in which they consume such food stuffs.

What we need to do is focus on how to expose people to legitimately healthy foods. This means teaching children about them early on and making sure they develop healthy eating habits. Additionally, it would be greatly advantageous, especially for children, if fast food ads weren’t so prevalent and manipulative.

With a comment below, share your suggestions with us on ways to get both adults and children to eat better.

Image source: University of Missouri

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