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What about fiber?

August 12, 2009

Fiber1Fiber is an essential part of every person’s diet. It  helps to keep your digestive tract healthy and can lower cholesterol. Fiber does not give the body energy; instead it acts like a broom sweeping away the bad stuff.  Most foods that are a good source of fiber also contain other essential nutrients.

There are two main types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is in all plant-based foods. It absorbs water in the intestines, mixes the food into a gel, and then slows and regulates sugar absorption in the bloodstream. Insoluble fiber holds water but does not dissolve in water and will not breakdown. Because insoluble fiber does not breakdown, it acts like a cleaner, picking up stray particles and removing them.

When you eat a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables and fruits, you usually get most of the fiber you’ll need. This has the added benefit of lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease, diverticulitis and constipation.

Here are some great tips for adding fiber to your diet.

  1. Buy only whole grain pastas and breads.
  2. Have oatmeal or whole grain cereal every morning.
  3. Eat whole fruit instead of just drinking fruit juice.
  4. Snack on raw vegetables; wash them, don’t peel them.
  5. Add dried fruits and nuts to other foods.

High fiber foods include:

Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Sweet Corn
  • Carrot
  • Potato

Fruits

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Oranges

Legumes, nuts & seeds

  • Pecans
  • Peanuts
  • Beans
  • Lentils

Grains, cereals & pastas

  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Oats
  • Popcorn
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain bread

Photo from Flickr.

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