It is important to have good amount of fiber in your diet. However it is more important to have fiber from variety of foods instead of sourcing it from only one type of food. If you want to know why and also how to identify if the food you are buying is an excellent source of fiber read this article below.
Everybody is on some type of diet, but if it doesn’t contain fiber, you could develop some serious health problems.
The normal function of the intestinal tract depends on the presence of adequate fiber. Fiber is an indigestible complex carbohydrate found in plants and has no calories. Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble. You need both of them.
Insoluble fibers does not dissolve in water. Soluble fiber dissolves in water. Water-soluble fiber is found in dried beans, apples, citrus food and oat products. It absorbs fluid while moving through your digestive tract. This keeps moisture in your digestive tract. Water-soluble fiber also helps lower blood cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber is found in vegetables and whole grain products. It aids in the elimination of waste and toxic materials. Insoluble fiber also reduces your risk of colon and rectal cancers. Fiber is also essential in preventing and treating illnesses such as varicose veins, phlebitis, diverticulitis, heart disease, bloating, constipation and abdominal pain.
You can eat too much fiber, but most average American diets only include about 10 grams of fiber daily, which is less than half the amount recommended by the National Cancer Institute. The National Cancer Institute recommends 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily. Too much insoluble fiber prevents the absorption of calcium, iron, zinc and other important minerals. The insoluble fiber can interfere with mineral absorption.
But you won’t have mineral deficiencies if the fiber in your diet comes from a variety of foods. Eating a high-fiber diet that includes whole grains, dried beans and legumes, fruits and vegetables will provide you with the right mix of soluble and insoluble fiber. This type of intake maximizes your intake of minerals, while minimizing your risk of getting too much of one type of fiber and insure you get in the right type of carbohydrates.
The U.S. government’s dietary guidelines recommend 38 grams for men and 25 grams for women under the age of 50 and 30 grams for men and 21 grams for women over the age of 50. To get in 20 to 30 grams of fiber a day you’ll have to take in at least three to five servings of whole-grain breads and cereals, three servings of vegetables and two to three servings of fruit every day.
Everybody needs fiber in his or her diet, even kids. But too much fiber can do a lot of harm. The American Health Foundation gives us the formula of five plus the child’s age for children over 2 years old. That means a 10-year-old needs about 15 grams of fiber daily.
If you want to get more fiber in your diet without taking a supplement or eating sawdust filled bread, you need to go back to basics. Fiber is found in all plant foods. This includes fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, cantaloupe, pineapple and apples. Fiber is also found in vegetables like peas, corn, cabbage, broccoli and potatoes. Lentils, legumes and all beans can supply you with needed fiber. Lets not forget whole grain breads, pastas and brown rice (and not the instant or precooked kind). A serving of brown rice contains 2.5 grams of fiber, a baked potato contains 3.8 grams, and kidney beans contain 5.8 grams. Spinach contains 2 grams and bananas contain 2 grams of fiber.
There’s no fiber in meats or dairy products. Keep in mind also that the more a food is processed the less fiber you’ll find in the food. There is no FDA regulations or USDA guidelines for fiber labeling terms. For shelf labeling the FDA uses the following guidelines from the Grocery Store Shelf Labeling program. Supermarkets to indicate shelves that contain products that are sources of dietary fiber may use these guidelines. So, choose real food to get the fiber you need.
• If a food contains at least 2 grams of dietary fiber per serving, it can be called a “source of dietary fiber.”
• If a food contains at least 5 grams of dietary fiber per serving, it can be called a “good source of dietary fiber.”
• If a food contains at least 8 grams of dietary fiber per serving, it can be called an “excellent source of dietary fiber.”
• Foods making claims about increased fiber content also must meet the definition for “low-fat” or the amount of total fat per serving must appear next to the claim.
No single serving of a natural food contains 30 grams of fiber. A lot of commercial bran products can contain very little bran. They can also contain high levels of sodium, total fat and saturated fat. You should read the labels on all packaged foods. So, don’t be fooled by false claims. Try to get all of your fiber from a natural source.
Article By Vince Faust – Source (http://www.phillytrib.com/news/health/article_4988bc68-7d37-5d0f-af85-85d438569bc3.html)