Another major nutrient that is missing from processed foods is fiber.
What is fiber?
Fiber is part of the cellular wall of plant-based foods—specifically fruits, vegetables grains, nuts, and beans.
According to the Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences in 2002, the recommended dietary for men aged fourteen to fifty is 38 grams of fiber per day, while women aged nineteen to fifty require 25 grams of fiber.
However, the typical American person on a typical American diet of primarily processed foods will not even come close to amounts.
Fiber comes in two varieties: insoluble and soluble.
Insoluble fiber is the bulky fiber that does not dissolve in water. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, wheat cereals, and vegetables such as carrots, celery, and tomatoes.
Soluble fiber does dissolves in water and helps control blood sugar levels and reduce cholesterol. Good sources include barley, oatmeal, beans, nuts, and fruits—such as apples, berries, citrus fruits, and pears. Many foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber.
Note that there is no fiber in meat, dairy, or sugar.