Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Facts on Fiber

For today’s post, I thought I would make it short and present a bit of information on dietary fiber. Media and marketers have been beating the drum on this component of nutrition, but when I ask some of my clients what they know about fiber, the response I most frequently receive is a blank stare.

Lucky for us, it’s not too complicated. So, here we go…
First: fiber has two forms - soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber is absorbed in the large intestine where it slows the movement of food and allows organ plenty of time for the absorption of nutrients. As a result, fiber can also help in avoiding drastic swings in blood sugar. Its primary sources are fruits, vegetables, legumes and oat bran.
Insoluble fiber (aka., “roughage”) is what most people think of when they think or fiber. In any case, insoluble fiber absorbs water during digestion, creating a “fuller” feeling and thereby increasing fecal bulk and speeding its move­ment through the digestive tract. Sounds a bit vulgar, but there’s a good side: It helps prevent constipation and is believed to prevent colon cancer.

It is also this feeling of satiety or fullness that allows fiber to help curb appetite. Although the average American eats 10 to 20 grams of fiber a day, the recommended level is relatively higher; 25 to 35 grams a day.
But before you decide to go out and aggressively pile on the dietary fiber to compensate for your previous short-comings, I suggest you increase you intake of fiber gradually in order to avoid possible intestinal discomfort and embarrassment.


That said – Enjoy Your Life!

John Aaron Villarreal




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