Have you been noticing a lot of fiber-enhanced products lining the store shelves at your local grocery store? Food, like most consumer products, goes through cycles and trends. Last year, it was eating “all-natural” and this year it seems to be fiber-rich products; everything from cereal to snack bars to yogurt has jumped on the bandwagon!
Before you jump on this latest food trend however, let’s cover some of the basics. Dietary fiber is the part of the plant that your body does not digest. There are two types of dietary fiber: insoluble and soluble.
Insoluble fiber doesn’t break down, so it helps to push things through your digestive tract while simultaneously fending off constipation and bloating. Good sources of insoluble fiber include whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, and a variety of vegetables.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is broken down in your system. This type of fiber can help lower both cholesterol and glucose levels. Good sources of soluble fiber include oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley, and psyllium.
Need more reasons to make sure you’re getting enough fiber in your diet? Fiber not only keeps you regular, but it also makes you feel fuller faster and longer; this can lead to eating less and packing on fewer calories. Plus, studies have indicated that appropriate amounts of dietary fiber can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and digestive issues.
To make sure you’re meeting your daily dietary fiber needs, check out this information taken from the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine:
|50 and under||51 and over|
- Dietary Fiber: Essential for a healthy diet- Mayo Clinic
- High Fiber Foods – Mayo Clinic
- Fiber: Start Roughing It – Harvard
Fit Life Fiber Video:
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