Fiber is critical for every adult and child in this country. In the future, it may be the difference between health and disease; and between living a shortened or longer life. There’s so much to say on it too! So, get comfortable, because we have a 4-part series coming on FIBER!
Many individuals elect to go on a high fiber diet because of the health benefits the diet offers. Consistently eating fiber and nutrient-rich foods decreases the risk of constipation and diabetes, as well as enhances the body’s ability to lose weight.
There are two kinds of fiber found in fiber-rich foods which are equally important, soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers are important because they bind to fatty acids and slow digestion. They also work to regulate blood sugar. Insoluble fibers are important because they remove toxins from the colon and balance intestinal acids. Below is a list of foods rich in both types of fiber that can improve your diet.
Soluble fibers are found in plant food sources like fruits, vegetables, grains and seeds. The highest levels of fiber are found in dried beans, peas, oats or oat bran, husks and flaxseed. It is also found in fruits, such as apples and oranges, and vegetables like carrots.
Insoluble fibers are also found in plant food sources. They are richest in wheat or wheat bran and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and the exterior skin of many fruits.
Recommended Daily Fiber Intake
Adults should have a total daily fiber intake of no less than 30 to 40 grams of fiber per day. (The average adult, however, has only about 10 grams in their normal diet!) High fiber foods typically have three to six grams of fiber in a single serving.
Fiber intake is an important part of a balanced diet. Getting the right amount of fiber in your diet is key to the absorption of other key nutrients. Eating several servings of high fiber foods per day can ensure that the appropriate number of fiber grams are consumed as part of an adult’s natural diet each day.
Coming up in Part 2: “The Downfalls of Eating Fiber” (Stay tuned!)
By Rita Larsen, RD; Elite Sports Clubs Dietitian and Nutrition Counselor