High Fiber Diet
Fiber – What is it?
Fiber is the non-digestible portion of the foods that we eat. (There are several different types of fiber, such as cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, pectin, and guar.)
Sources of Fiber
Fiber is found chiefly in non-processed foods such as whole grains, beans, peas, fruits, and vegetables, especially in the outer layers of such foods. Fiber may be added to processed foods in the form of bran, which is the outer coating from a grain such as wheat or oats.
Benefits of a High Fiber Diet
It speeds the elimination of fecal material from the body. This can reduce or cure constipation and intestinal polyps, alleviate hemorrhoids and may reduce the risk of colon cancer.
A high fiber diet may also alleviate diverticulosis, a condition in which the intestinal lining develops small pockets in which fecal material can be trapped.
A high fiber diet fills out the stomach and intestinal cavity. This produces a sense of fullness which is a real boon in weight control.
High Fiber Diet & Diabetics
Some types of fibers, particularly those found in whole fruits and legumes, tie up sugar molecules so that the levels of insulin normally produced after eating are reduced, a big advantage for diabetics. (This effect is most pronounced when fruits and legumes are eaten whole, rather than as fruit juice or ground beans.)
How Much Fiber is Needed in Your Diet
The typical American diet is high in processed foods, most of which contain little or no fiber. Most people get only around 10-12 grams of fiber per day, but you need 25 grams or more to get the real benefits.
If your current diet is low in fiber, it’s important that you increase fiber gradually over a period of weeks. If you increase your fiber intake too quickly, it can cause bloating, stomach pains and gas.
How to Start Adding Fiber to Your Diet
Start by increasing your intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, and add a high-fiber cereal to your diet. As your system becomes used to this, substitute whole-grain breads, cereals and pastas for the refined (white flour, low-fiber) varieties you’ve been eating.
A Great Weight Loss Plan
Forget fast weight loss, fad diets and weight loss pills! A balanced diet coupled with regular exercise is still the best way to lose weight and keep it off. Diet is a great weight loss plan with lots of advice about dieting, exercise, diet-motivation and long term weight control.