Put your focus on Fiber
The benefits of eating fiber include:
- Lowers risk for heart disease
- Helps your bowels function properly
- Lowers risk for type 2 diabetes
- Helps prevent constipation, diverticulosis, and hemorrhoids.
- Fiber is filling and keeps you feeling full longer.
What exactly is Fiber?
There are two different types of Fiber that work differently in our bodies. Insoluble Fiber Ė is roughage and helps keep things moving through our digestive systems. Some good sources of insoluble fiber include whole grains, wheat and corn bran, vegetables, and the skins of fruits and vegetables.
Soluble Fiber Ė dissolves in out bodies and becomes gummy like pectin. This is the type of fiber that helps decrease blood cholesterol levels and slows the absorption of glucose. Itís found in foods such as oats and oat bran, beans, brown rice, fruits and vegetables.
Both types of fiber are beneficial and healthy. The recommendation for total daily Fiber intake is 25-35 grams per day; most Americans get about half of that.
Tips to Help Increase the Amount of Fiber in Your Diet.
- Look for products containing bran and whole wheat. A good source of fiber will have
at least 3 g per serving.
- Eat your fruits and vegetables with the skins on. Donít toss out the peel on that baked potato.
- Add nuts or seeds to your salads, cereals, and desserts to punch up the fiber a little bit.
- Incorporate more beans into your meals, replace some of those typical side dishes with
fiber packed kidney beans, pinto beans, lentils, or black-eyed peas.
- Use brown rice instead of white, look for whole-wheat pasta, whole-wheat flour,
whole-wheat bread, and whole grain crackers, brown is better but be sure to check the labels.
- Increase the berries! Look for raspberries, blackberries, and boysenberries. They have
twice the amount of fiber as many other fruits.
- Make sure you drink plenty of water. Your body needs more water to help process the
added fiber. Try aiming for 64 oz per day.
- Look at those labels. Remember a good source of fiber has at least 3 g per serving.
- If you use carbohydrate counting as a meal planning tool, you can subtract out the dietary
fiber listed on the label from the total carbohydrate. It doesn’t have the same effect
on blood glucose as starch and sugar.