The Importance of Fiber

Tags: live healthy, News, Health Talk

The Importance of Fiber

Fiber is important for your gut or digestive health. It is recommended that men consume 30-38 grams per day and 25 grams a day for women.

Try these 10 tips about fiber from the American College of Gastoenterology: 

1. Keep in mind that a high-fiber diet may tend to improve:

◾Chronic constipation

◾Coronary heart disease

◾Hemorrhoids

◾Diabetes mellitus

◾Diverticular disease

◾Elevated cholesterol

◾Irritable bowel syndrome

◾Colorectal cancer

2. Try to double your daily fiber intake.

◾Average American intake: 10-15 grams per day

◾Recommended intake: 20-35 grams per day

3Understand what fiber is, where it comes from:

Insoluble fiber

◾Cereals

◾Wheat/wheat bran

◾Whole grains

Soluble fiber

◾Brans

◾Fruit

◾Oatmeal/oat bran

◾Psyllium

◾Vegetables

4. Substitute high-fiber foods for high-fat and low-fiber foods.

5. Keep your daily fiber intake stable. Consider a fiber supplement if you:

◾Travel

◾Eat away from home often

◾Find it difficult to get enough fiber through food choices alone

6.Don't shock your system: Increase fiber levels in your diet gradually.

7.Always increase fluids (water, soup, broth, juices) when you increase fiber.

8.Add both soluble and insoluble fiber, from a variety of sources.

9.Compare fiber content of foods: 

Grams of Fiber 

1 cup of Rice Krispies®= 1 

1/3 cup of 100% Bran® =9 

1 slice of white bread =0.5 

1 slice of whole wheat bread =1.4 

1/2 cup white rice =0.5 

1/2cup brown rice =1.5 

10.Choose foods high in fiber content. 

Fruits and Vegetables 

 Highest in Fiber Per Serving 

 Artichokes 

 Apples, pears (with skin)

 Berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) 

 Dates 

 Figs 

 Prunes Vegetables

 Beans (baked, black, lima, pinto) 

 Broccoli

 Chick-peas

 Lentils

 Parsnips Peas 

 Pumpkin

 Rutabaga 

 Squash (winter) 

Other Good Fiber Choices 

Barley 

Bread, Muffins (whole wheat, bran) 

Cereals (branflakes, bran, oatmeal, shredded wheat) 

Coconut 

Crackers (rye, whole wheat) 

Nuts (almonds, Brazil, peanuts, pecans, walnuts) 

Rice (brown) 

Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower) 

Eating high-fiber foods is a healthy choice for most people. If you have ever received medical treatment for a digestive problem, however, it is very important that you check with your doctor to find out if a high-fiber diet is the right choice for you.

Information provided by gi.org