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Christy's Newletter is packed full of tips and information on diet, nutrition, health, training and more to help you live a longer, happier life!

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Tips & Blog

Have you had your fiber today?

What is fiber? "Fiber, which is found in all plant-based foods, is composed of a group of compounds that makes up the framework of plants. Although fiber cannot be digested, it is an essential nutrient for good health. The health benefits of a diet rich in fiber include lower cholesterol and a reduced risk of heart disease and certain cancers. Also referred to as roughage, fiber is made up of many compounds, mostly carbohydrates. It can be found in a variety of foods, including wheat, potatoes, and certain fruits and vegetables." (borrowed from http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Erg-Foo/Fiber.html)

How much should you consume per day?

Recommended amount of fiber is 20 to 35 grams a day. The average American consumes only 12 to 15 grams on a daily basis.

Two Kinds of Fiber: Insoluble and Soluble

Insoluble fiber …

  • cannot be dissolved in water
  • is a natural laxative, and prevents constipation & hemorrhoids
  • may reduce risk of colon cancer

Examples include: wheat bran, and some fruits & vegetables.

Soluble fiber …

  • can be dissolved in water
  • is made of pectins, gums, and mucilage
  • reduces level of cholesterol in blood which reduces risks of heart and artery disease and atherosclerosis
  • in large amounts, slows glucose absorption

Examples include: beans, oats, and some fruits & vegetables.

Foods with higher fiber content:

  • 100% whole wheat bread or tortilla
  • whole grain oatmeal (Quaker Weight Control)
  • apples
  • beans
  • vegetables like green beans and spinach
  • dried fruits

Check Food Labels

Challenge yourself by keeping track of your fiber intake for a few days to see how you are doing. Check your toliet – no hard stuff. 🙂 SLOWLY increase your fiber intake if you are under. If you add too much too quickly, you will get very uncomfortable. Also, increase your water while increasing your grams of fiber or if you are intaking too many grams than the recommended amount.

*For children under the age of 18, please check this chart for the recommended fiber intake.

For more information, see this link.

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Posted on April 11th, 2008

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