What is fiber?
Fiber is a specific type of carbohydrate, which cannot be digested or broken down into sugar. For this reason fiber aids in keeping people’s digestive system regular, helps regulate blood sugars, and keeps hunger away.
Adults need between 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day for general good health, but unfortunately the average American only eat about 15 grams per day. What does that tell you? We all need more fiber!
There are 2 types of fiber:
Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. Some types of soluble fiber may help lower cholesterol. (1)
Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. It adds bulk to the stool and appears to help food pass more quickly through the stomach and intestines. (1)
Plant Food Sources = Fiber
Animal Food Sources = No Fiber
Tips to add fiber to your diet:
- Choose whole fruits, rather than drinking them.
- Replace your white rice, bread, and pasta with brown rice, sprouted or whole grain choices.
- Make sure your breakfast cereals have at least 5 grams of fiber.
- Snack on raw vegetables.
- Substitute beans or legumes for meat 1-3 times per week.
- Add beans to a salad.
Sources: 1. www.urac.org