Having a diet high in fiber is a recipe for health. High fiber diets have been proven to do amazing things like: lowering blood sugar levels and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels to preventing diverticulosis and colon cancer. Foods that are high in fiber tend to digest slower and help us feel fuller sooner, thus reduce the risk of over eating. High fiber foods are also nutrient rich and contain fewer calories.
At an average daily recommended intake of 25 – 38 grams, do you think you are getting enough fiber in your diet? Before you can make that call it helps to be clear on exactly what fiber is and what foods contain it.
Dietary fiber or “roughage” refers to the nutrients in plant based foods that are indigestible. These indigestible plant nutrients travel through the digestive tract, absorbing water along the way and regulating and easing bowel movements.
Types of Fiber
There are two broad types of fiber: “soluble fiber” and “insoluble fiber”.
1. “Soluble fibers” dissolve in water, bind with fatty acids and lower bad cholesterol levels. They also slow the digestive process so that blood sugars are released at a moderate rate, making them an excellent dietary addition for type 2 diabetics.
Sources of soluble fiber include: apples, beans, carrots and psyllium.
2. "Insoluble fibers” do not dissolve in water, but instead hydrate and control intestinal pH (acidity) levels. Insoluble fiber also promotes the movement of waste material through the digestive tract and bulks up stool, which makes them a crucial part of the diet for those who suffer from constipation.
Sources of insoluble fiber include: nuts, wheat bran, brussel sprouts.
Foods that contain fiber
High fiber foods are known as “whole” or unprocessed foods, so you won’t find them (or large amount anyway) at a fast food restaurant or in a box. Foods on the high fiber list are: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes/beans.
Have some fun with your diet this summer by adding more high fiber foods. I’m sure your body will thank you for it.
For any questions or to book an appointment the office of Ryan Samuels at (250) 860- 2212 or visit his website www.kelownaacupunctureclininc.com
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.