Eat more fiber.
Plain and simple, and most likely something you’ve heard a million times. It’s funny because when I was younger I remember watching my Grandfather chug Metamucil every morning. He would jokingly offer me the glass and say “want some?” and I would shake my head violently and say nuh huh. I knew that with in minutes he would snap his newspaper closed and take off to the bathroom. Fast forward 20 years and you have “sexy” fiber commercials from companies like Benafiber. My how times change.
But you don’t have to force down powder drinks to get your daily fiber in! Fiber rich foods are all around, and you may be surprised what foods are actually fiber rich. Before I get into some wikipedia like posting I want to remind you about a wonderful read when it comes to fiber knowledge: The F Factor Diet by Tanya Z! http://www.ffactordiet.com/ I have mentioned this book before and it’s such a wise investment and a great tool to have in your pocket!
Ok onto some Fiber 101!
What is dietary fiber?
Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes all parts of plant foods that your body can’t digest or absorb. Unlike other food components such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and absorbs — fiber isn’t digested by your body. Therefore, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine, colon and out of your body. It might seem like fiber doesn’t do much, but it has several important roles in maintaining health.
Fiber is commonly classified into two categories: those that don’t dissolve in water (insoluble fiber) and those that do (soluble fiber).
- Insoluble fiber. This type of fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can be of benefit to those who struggle with constipation or irregular stools. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts and many vegetables are good sources of insoluble fiber.
- Soluble fiber. This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.
The amount of each type of fiber varies in different plant foods. To receive the greatest health benefit, eat a wide variety of high-fiber foods.
Benefits of a high-fiber diet
A high-fiber diet has many benefits, which include:
- Normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may also help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool. For some, fiber may provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome.
- Helps maintain bowel integrity and health. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids, and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Some fiber is fermented in the colon. Researchers are looking at how this may play a role in preventing diseases of the colon.
- Lowers blood cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels. Epidemiologic studies have shown that increased fiber in the diet can reduce blood pressure and inflammation, which is also protective to heart health.
- Helps control blood sugar levels. Fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can slow the absorption of sugar, which for people with diabetes can help improve blood sugar levels. A diet that includes insoluble fiber has been associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Aids in weight loss. High-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you’re no longer hungry, so you’re less likely to overeat. Also, a high-fiber diet tends to make a meal feel larger and linger longer, so you stay full for a greater amount of time. And high-fiber diets also tend to be less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.
- Uncertain effect on colorectal cancer. Evidence that dietary fiber reduces colorectal cancer is mixed — some studies show benefit, some show nothing and some suggest increased risk. If you’re concerned about preventing colorectal cancer, adopt or stick with a colon cancer screening regimen. Regular testing for and removal of colon polyps can prevent colon cancer.
How much fiber do you need?
How much fiber do you need each day? The National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine, which provides science-based advice on matters of medicine and health, gives the following daily recommendations for adults:
|Age 50 and younger||Age 51 and older|
|Men||38 grams||30 grams|
|Women||25 grams||21 grams|
Your best fiber choices
If you aren’t getting enough fiber each day, you may need to boost your intake. Good choices include:
- Grains and whole-grain products
- Beans, peas and other legumes
- Nuts and seeds
Refined or processed foods — such as canned fruits and vegetables and pulp-free juice, white bread and pasta, and non-whole-grain cereals — are lower in fiber content. The grain-refining process removes the outer coat (bran) from the grain, which lowers its fiber content. Similarly, removing the skin from fruits and vegetables decreases their fiber content.
Whole foods rather than fiber supplements are generally better. Fiber supplements — such as Metamucil, Citrucel and FiberCon — don’t provide the vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients that high-fiber foods do. However, some people may still need a fiber supplement if dietary changes aren’t sufficient, or if they have certain medical conditions such as constipation, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome. Always check with your doctor if you feel you need to take fiber supplements.
Tips for fitting in fiber
Need ideas for high-fiber meals and snacks? Try these suggestions:
- Jump-start your day. For breakfast choose a high-fiber breakfast cereal — 5 or more grams of fiber a serving. Opt for cereals with “bran” or “fiber” in the name. Or add a few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran to your favorite cereal.
- Switch to whole grains. Look for breads that list whole wheat, whole-wheat flour or another whole grain as the first ingredient on the label. Look for a brand with at least 2 grams of dietary fiber a serving. Experiment with brown rice, wild rice, barley, whole-wheat pasta and bulgur.
- Bulk up your baked goods. Substitute whole-grain flour for half or all of the white flour when baking. Whole-grain flour is heavier than white flour. In yeast breads, use a bit more yeast or let the dough rise longer. When using baking powder, increase it by 1 teaspoon for every 3 cups of whole-grain flour. Try adding crushed bran cereal or unprocessed wheat bran to muffins, cakes and cookies.
- Mix it up. Add pre-cut fresh or frozen vegetables to soups and sauces. For example, mix chopped frozen broccoli into prepared spaghetti sauce or toss fresh baby carrots into stews.
- Get a leg up with legumes. Eat more beans, peas and lentils. Add kidney beans to canned soup or a green salad. Or make nachos with refried black beans, lots of fresh veggies, whole-wheat tortilla chips and salsa.
- Eat fruit at every meal. Apples, bananas, oranges, pears and berries are good sources of fiber.
- Make snacks count. Fresh and dried fruit, raw vegetables, and low-fat popcorn and whole-grain crackers are all good choices. An occasional handful of nuts is also a healthy, high-fiber snack.
High-fiber foods are good for your health. But adding too much fiber too quickly can promote intestinal gas, abdominal bloating and cramping. Increase fiber in your diet gradually over a period of a few weeks. This allows the natural bacteria in your digestive system to adjust to the change. Also, drink plenty of water. (Above info gathered from the MAYO CLINIC)
|Fiber Content of Foods|
|Apple juice||1 cup||0|
|Barley, raw||40 g||5|
|Barley, cooked||1 cup, 180 g||6.5|
|Beans, Black-eyed, cooked||100 g||6.5|
|Beans. Green, cooked||1 cup||2|
|Beans, Mung, cooked||100 g||6.5|
|Beans, Soya, cooked||100 g||7.5|
|Beet Root, canned||100 g||4|
|Bitter Melon||100 g||2|
|Black Berrids, fresh||100 g||5|
|Blue Berries, raw/td>||100 g||5|
|Bread- Chapati||100 g||3|
|Bread- Naan||60 g||1.5|
|Bread- Loaf, Black Rye||1 slice||7|
|Broccoli, raw||100 g||4|
|Carrot, raw||70 g||2|
|Cereal- All Bran||45 g||13|
|Cereal- Oat Bran||22 g||3.5|
|Chick Peas, dried, boiled||180 g||20.5|
|Cucumber, sliced||1/2 cup||<1|
|Figs, dried||75 g||10.5|
|Flour- Barley||100 g||10|
|Flour- Besan (Chickpea)||100 g||11|
|Flour- Soya, low fat||100 g||15.5|
|Flour- Wholemeal||100 g||11|
|Flour- Wheat, plain (Maida)||100 g||4|
|Kiwi fruit||1 medium||5|
|Mango, peeled||150 g||2.5|
|Nashi Pear, unpeeled||130 g||4.5|
|Nuts- Almonds, raw||4 numbers||1.5|
|Nuts- Cashew, raw||75 g||4.5|
|Pear with skin||1 medium||4|
|Peas (cooked)||1 cup||6|
|Popcorn (air popped)||3.5 cup||4.5|
|Potato, baked with skin||1 medium||4|
|Spinach (raw)||1 cup||1|
|Spinach (cooked)||1 cup||4|
|Sunflower Seeds||1 ounce||4|
|Whole wheat bread||1 slice||1.3|
Interesting huh?! I’m sure you will find that getting your fiber in was easier than you thought. Another awesome source of fiber that I use all the time is Amazing Grass! I can’t tell you how much you will adore this product! Awesome breakfast, snack, you can bake with it and I’m almost positive it will replace coffee for you. Click on the little brown jusg to the right and experience the magic for yourself! (Plus it’s CHOCOLATE-YUM)
Before I go I will catch you up on all of my yummies from the past coupek of days and my training! i have been hitting Fit World pretty hard this week. I’m so serious about this Pledge 20 guys. I want it GONE! Tomorrow is my first weigh in since we started and I have to keep telling myself that I have already lost 100 pounds so seeing a 10 pound drop is NOT possible LOL. I am not on the Biggest Loser! I am hoping for atleast 3 pounds though! I can’t wait to hear how much all of you lost! We have had some super numbers rolling in already….EXCITING!!!!
For training at Fit World:
Sunday 1/3- Kick N Shred-1 hour Zumba-30 minutes
Monday 1/4- Interval run-45 minutes
Tuesday 1/5- Zumba-1 hour
Wednesday 1/6-OFF Abdominals at home before bed
Thursday 1/7- Spin 1 hour and I used my new Polar F7 heart monitor!! 608 calories burned 24.2 miles biked
If you want to hit Fit World hard, here’s your chance!!! If you’d like to change YOUR life for the better, and train with trainers just like Bob and Jillian, come visit Fit World!
Fit World will be bringing back their AWESOME enrollment deal for ONE DAY ONLY! Saturday January 9th from 12 to 5pm!!!
You can join Fit World of Cranston for $0 down and $29 a month!!! That’s a $1 a day to change your life! Check out http://www.fitworldri.com/ for more details!
Phone: (401) 464-4055
On Saturday, January 9th there will be prizes and some very nice surprises 😉 during that 12 to 5p time frame! I will be stopping by at some point so if you’d like to swing by and say hi, let me know! I would love to meet you and take you on a tour of Rhode Island’s newest state of the art facility! Hope to see you there!!!
As for yummies, lots and lots and lots of salad! I’m feeling super hydrated between the salad and the enormous jugs of water I’m taking in. I think it’s safe to say I’m done with the salad phase for a bit. 😉 I’ve also discovered how much I love Progresso French Onion soup with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, 100 cals for a HUGE can. Here’s a little food porn box for ya!
Tons of salads, tons of egg white omelets full of green onions and spinach, and even some egg white french toast!!! It’s been a tasty week!
I’m off to watch the Texas Bama game now…..GO BAMA!!!! I’m huge Texas A & M fan so any team going against the Longhorns…I’ll cheer you on!!!! ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!
To Contact Tera:
T shirts are still available, click on the “Check It Out” tab!!!