Fiber – Eat More
Fiber is a very important dietary component and one that is sadly lacking in the SAD (Standard American Diet)!
What is dietary fiber? The digestible portion of plant food.
There are two types, each with special benefits:
- Soluble fiber dissolves in intestinal fluid. When it combines with water (drink a lot, right?) it forms a sticky gel which passes through the intestines and grabs onto cholesterol rich bile and acids ad carries them through the body – cool, right?
- Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in intestinal fluid. It is composed of cellulose and is found in plant cell walls. As the undissolved strands move through the body they pull partly digested food along as well, which delays absorption of sugar and fats, resulting in more consistent blood sugar levels. This process also makes the body feel “fuller longer” – which means we don’t experience hunger pangs quite so quickly – another plus for fiber.
The daily recommended intake is at least 35 grams, yet the average American gets only between 10-15 grams. Consider just some of the benefits of fiber:
- soluble fiber helps reduce belly fat! (that’s fiber from vegetables, fruits & beans)
- high fiber foods make you “feel fuller faster” and last longer than highly processed refined foods.
- suffering from digestive problems and taking too much metamucil? try adding more fiber and water to your diet and chances are you may be able to throw the metamucil away. I know becuase I’ve been there and done that.
Where do you get this great fiber?
- fresh fruits and vegetables (and eat your fruit, don’t drink it!)
- whole grains (not the white enriched variety) – try brown rice, quinoa, brown rice pasta, for example
- eat more beans – (try lentil burgers, hummus, add garbanzos to salads, black beans – they are good for you)
- look for breakfast cereals and breads that have a high fiber content relative to sugar
- oatmeal is good – go for the steel cut vs. the rolled, more fiber! (hint: cook a pot on the weekend, store in fridge and microwave for breakfast – makes it easy and fast.)