Posted by: 4pack | November 10, 2008

Ideal Diet: Increase Fiber Content Of Meals To Keep Calorie Intake Down

WE SPEND WAY TOO LITTLE TIME ON A VERY IMPORTANT PART OF NUTRITION…AND THAT IS FIBER…WHILE MEDICAL SCIENCE FIGHTS IT OUT, ONE THING ABOUT FIBER IS CONCLUSIVE…FIBER FILLS YOU UP AND BULKS UP FOOD MOVING THROUGH THE COLON…YOU CONSUME FEWER CALORIES WHEN YOU EAT FIBER DENSE FOODS…THAT IS A VERY GOOD THING….

“…About 14 grams of dietary fiber for every 1,000 calories that we eat. That’s about 25 grams for most women and 38 grams for adult men. ..”

“…a cup of broccoli (high in fiber) contains about 25 calories; a cup of white rice (low in fiber) contains more than 200 calories…”

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/health/s_597382.html 

We’re talking about “dietary fiber,” various components in our food that benefit our health.

Basically, according to the newest definition by the Institute of Medicine and described in a recent position paper by the American Dietetic Association (ADA), dietary fiber includes the carbohydrate components of plants that are not digested and absorbed into the human small intestine.

Fiber is just … on its way through. So why is it important in our diet?

Let me count the reasons:

1. An adequate intake of dietary fiber protects against heart disease. Current research shows that 12 to 33 grams of dietary fiber a day might lower blood pressure, improve blood cholesterol levels and reduce the “inflammation” now attributed to cardiovascular disease. A pooled analysis of several studies found that every 10 grams of dietary fiber added to the diet (that’s about the amount in a cup of beans) decreased the risk of dying of heart disease by 27 percent.

2. Soluble fibers lower bad cholesterol in your blood. Although some experts now frown on using the terms “soluble” and “insoluble” to describe two types of fiber, these are the terms we still find on food labels. While scientists fight it out, there still is evidence that soluble fibers absorb water as they pass through the body, which helps pull “bad” LDL cholesterol out of the body. Foods that contain a good dose of soluble fibers include apples, barley, oats, beans and other legumes, fruits and vegetables. Other soluble fiber sources include psyllium, guar gum, beet fiber, xanthan gum and pectin.

3. Insoluble fibers tend to encourage “laxation” of the gastrointestinal tract. Stool weight increases as the intake of these dietary fibers increases. The result is a quicker trip through the body and more normal bowel movements. Whole-grain foods such as whole-wheat bread or brown rice are good sources of insoluble fiber. Some foods contain substances that are natural laxatives. They include cabbage, rhubarb, honey, figs, prunes, raspberries, strawberries and stewed apples.

4. Dietary fiber might help control diabetes. Remember, dietary fiber is a carbohydrate the body does not absorb. So a fiber-rich diet results in fewer total carbohydrates converting to high blood sugars. High-fiber meals also are processed more slowly and result in slower rises of blood sugars after meals, according to the ADA.

5. Dietary fiber promotes the health of our gastrointestinal tract. Certain types of natural fibers in fruit, vegetables and whole grains are fermented in the large colon and actually might help our bodies absorb important minerals such as calcium.

6. Dietary fiber might help keep the pounds off. Our human body does not derive any energy, or calories, from fiber. So when we eat high-fiber foods, we fill up on “bulk” that makes us feel satisfied but does not turn into love handles. And ask any cow: High-fiber plant food requires a lot of chewing. The longer you have to chew your food, the fewer calories you are likely to take in. Lastly, foods high in fiber tend to contain fewer calories. For example, a cup of broccoli (high in fiber) contains about 25 calories; a cup of white rice (low in fiber) contains more than 200 calories.

How much do we need? About 14 grams of dietary fiber for every 1,000 calories that we eat. That’s about 25 grams for most women and 38 grams for adult men. No recommendations have been made for children younger than 2.

Most fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain about 2 to 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Cooked dried beans and legumes contain 10 to 15 grams of dietary fiber per cup.

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Responses

  1. I enjoyed this article and think your have six great reasons to eat fiber. If you and your readers are interested here’s an article that lists some of the top fiber foods and their fiber content, as well as soluble and insoluble fiber foods.


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