Dietary Fiber-A key to good health.
What then is a fiber ?
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest.most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules in our body but fiber can’t be broken down into sugar molecules and instead it passes through the body undigested.
In this way,fiber help regulate the body’s use of sugars,thus helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.
What are the forms of fiber?
Fiber comes in two varieties and both are beneficial to the health.
🔹 Insoluble Fiber.
This type is the one which does not dissolve in water,the insoluble fiber helps food move through the digestive system, promoting regularity and helping to prevent constipation.
Foods with insoluble fibers include wheat, whole wheat bread, whole grain couscous, brown rice, legumes, carrots, tomatoes and cucumbers.
🔹 Soluble fiber.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water, this type can help lower glucose levels as well as help lower blood cholesterol.foods with soluble fiber include oatmeal,nuts,beans, lentils, blueberries and apples.
It is important to take note that the best sources of fiber are whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts.
🔹 Some important notes on fiber:
🔸The soluble or insoluble,both types of fiber are important.
🔸 soluble fiber helps block cholesterol and fats from being absorbed into the blood stream.
🔸 Insoluble fiber help prevent constipation.
🔸Both types of fiber increase feeling of fullness which may help maintain a healthy weight (weight management)
🔸Diets too low in fiber can contribute to heart Disease,type 2 diabetes and diverticulitis (inflammation in the intestines).
🔸fiber is contained in the seeds of wheat,oats, barley,rice(brown) and other grains.
🔸 whole grain[*] foods contain the entire grain seed, which is made up of an outer layer (bran),the middle layer (endosperm) and the inner layer (germ).
🔸 When grain is processed,the brain and the germ are removed,along with the fiber and other nutrients[*].
As a result foods made with refined grains e.g white flour contain less fiber and other important nutrients.
🔸 Fruit and vegetable also contain fiber usual between 1 and 5 grams per serving.fruit such as apples, oranges, peaches contain soluble fiber and vegetables such as green beans, cauliflower and celery contain insoluble fiber.
🔸 Eating whole pieces of fruit rather than drinking fruit juice is the best way to get the full amount of fiber,5 serving a day of fruits and vegetables are recommend.
🔸The recommended daily amount of fiber for adult is between 20-35 grams.for the children the recommended daily amount is equivalent to the child’s age plus five (5) for instance a 7 year old child should get at least 12 grams (7+5) of fiber a day.
Until we meet again in the next article,eat healthy to stay healthy.