All Blogged Up? Eat More Fiber!

Posted at 9:50 am on 07/23/2014 by Brandon McElroy

Dietary fibers are found in vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, and heart healthy whole grains. Did you know fiber actually comes in two different forms? The two types of fiber are called soluble fiber and insoluble fiber; both forms of fiber accomplish the same task through different processes. Having said that, fiber plays many different roles on digestion.

 

 

Soluble fiber attracts water and will form a gel like substance that helps delay digestion and also helps us feel full for a longer period of time. When you consume the proper amount of soluble fiber during the day it will help you with weight maintenance. If you feel full and you have met your caloric needs, there is no reason to continue to eat! As the old saying goes: “Eat to live, do not live to eat.”

 

Sources Of Soluble Fiber:

                                                             Oatmeal                         Carrots

                                              Oat cereal                 Lentils

                                                             Apples                            Oranges

                                                             Pears                              Oat bran

                                                             Strawberries                   Nuts

                                                             Flaxseeds                       Beans

                                                            Dried peas                       Blueberries

                                                            Psyllium                           Cucumbers

                                                            Celery       

 

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and adds to the “bulk” in our stool. By remaining intact as it passes through digestion, it acts as a laxative and helps us pass foods and wastes through the gastrointestinal tract while also preventing constipation.


Sources of Insoluble Fiber:

                                                            Whole wheat                   whole grains

                                                            Wheat bran                      Corn bran

                                                            Seeds                               Nuts

                                                            Barley                               Brown rice

                                                            Bulgur                               Zucchini

                                                            Celery                               Broccoli

                                                            Cabbage                           Onion

                                                            Tomatoes                          Carrots

                                                            Cucumbers                        Green beans

                                                            Green leafy vegetables      Raisins

                                                            Grapes                                Fruit

 

 

Both types of fiber are equally important for health, digestion, and preventing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity, diverticulitis, and constipation. Don’t worry about what kind of fiber you’re consuming unless you are seeking a specific health benefit, such as eating more soluble fiber to lower cholesterol. Focus on eating a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. This will provide a variety of soluble and insoluble fibers and all of the health benefits. Most Americans are only consuming 15 grams of fiber daily, but its recommended to eat 30-35 grams for health benefits.


Meeting daily fiber goals can be challenging, so I will leave you with a few tips to slowly increase your daily fiber intake. Remember, increasing fiber may cause intestinal gas, but if you increase your consumption gradually you will allow your body to adapt.

 

·      Eat more whole fruit instead of fruit juice. 

·      READ LABELS- Look for the word whole before any grains on the ingredient list and check the number of grams of dietary fiber on the nutrition facts panel of packages to select high-fiber foods. 

·      Start your day with a bowl of bran or other high-fiber cereal that contains at least FIVE grams of fiber per serving.

·      Snack on raw vegetables. 

·      Add legumes, seeds, and nuts into soups, salads, and stews. 

·      Replace refined white bread, pasta, and rice with whole-grain products. 

                        


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