What Can Fiber Do for You?

Have you ever had a change in your gastrointestinal system and thought that fiber might be the answer to setting things, right? We often think about fiber helping with constipation, but did you know fiber has also been shown to decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease?

There are two different types of fiber:

  • Soluble fiber: Dissolves in water to form a thick gel- like substance (think oatmeal!)
    • Can interfere with the absorption of fat and cholesterol
    • Slows digestions leading to satiety
    • Can help control rapid rises blood glucose
  • Insoluble fiber: Does not dissolve in water and passes through the GI tract untouched
    • Helps move food through the GI tract
    • Increases feeling of fullness

So how can you get more fiber in your diet?

  • Whenever possible, choose 100% whole grain products or products that have whole grains listed as the first or second ingredient.
  • Look on the nutrition label for at least 3g of dietary fiber per serving.
  • Ingredients to look for: whole wheat flour, whole wheat meal, whole oat flour, spelt, barley, millet, quinoa, oats, brown rice, buckwheat, flax seeds, chia seeds
  • Try tracking your fiber intake to see how much you’re getting in a normal day. For most adults, the recommended fiber intake is 28g per day.
  • Choose whole fruit instead of juice when possible – consuming the skins increases your fiber intake!
  • Try adding beans and lentils to dishes such as casseroles or try them as a side.

JM

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