Monday, May 12, 2014

All About Fiber

-          Fiber is the part of the plant that our bodies cannot break down.
-          There are two types of fiber.

Soluble fiber
-          Delays stomach emptying which keeps you fuller longer, which can strongly benefit weight loss.
-          Reduces the amount of fat and cholesterol that is absorbed into the bloodstream, which can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, which then reduces the risk of heart disease.
-          Increases insulin sensitivity(this is very good for pre-diabetics, and can help control diabetes
-          Soluble fiber is found in oatmeal and other oat products, beans, fruits, and vegetables.

Insoluble fiber
-          Exercises the intestines which can help prevent constipation, diverticulosis/diverticulitis, and colon cancer.
-          Speeds up the rate of food passage through the intestines.
-          Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains and wheat products, seeds and nuts, brown rice, fruits, and vegetables.

Recommended fiber intake per day
Women of ages 13-50 – 25g
Women of ages above 51 – 21g
Men of ages 13-50- 30-38g
Men of ages above 51 – 30g

How to easily increase fiber intake
-          Switch from refined (white) carbohydrates to whole wheat and whole grain carbohydrates.
-          Eat fruits for snacks during the day every day.
-          Eat 1-2 servings of nuts a few days per week.
-          Include vegetables at your meals or snacks (or both if you’re a bad ass).
-          Choose brown rice over white rice.
-          Substitute wheat flour for white flour for baked goods.
-          Eat more beans during the week.
-          Choose high fiber cereals (there are a lot that actually taste good)

Other recommendations
-          Don’t jump straight into eating a ton of fiber everyday if you are not used to it.  Doing this can cause upset stomachs, bloating, gas, diarrhea, and many other negative side effects. 
-          Gradually increase the amount of fiber you eat by choosing fiber rich options and incorporating more and more of them throughout the weeks and months.
-          Track the amount of fiber that is in all the food that you eat tomorrow (you can do this by hand or with an app) and try to beat that number every day this week by choosing fiber rich food options.