The Many Benefits of Fiber
As we grow older, we need more substance to our diet. Putting more fiber into your body through fruits, vegetables and grains can help.
Studies have found that putting more fiber into your diet helps you to feel fuller throughout the day, and helps to keep you regular.
Fiber may even help you to lose weight.
When you begin to change your life to a healthier one, your diet needs to focus on fruits, vegetables and grains.
In an article from Begin-healthy.com, the author of Five Top Tips that Can Help You Lose Fat feels strongly that you need to make many changes in order to lose weight. Here are a few tips:
1. Putting more protein into your diet. Protein, like fiber, can make you feel fuller when you compare it to carbohydrates and fats. That is why it is a good idea to put protein into each meal. There are also some non-meat proteins such as tofu, grains, and tempeh.
2. Try high intensity training for short spurts of speed followed by less intensity. For example: 30 seconds running and then 30 seconds jogging.
3. Drink more water. This can also help you to feel full. And it has the added benefit of helping push all those toxins out of your body. Water gives your healthy skin, decreases the risk of colon and bladder cancer.
4. Stay away from fatty foods and sugar. Both have been studied and have been shown to cause inflammation in the body.
5. Remember portion control. Measure everything. I never eat more than 1 cup of anything unless it is a green veggy!
More Tips on Fiber:
Brenda Watson in her book: The Fiber 35 Diet speaks on how important fiber is to weight loss, improving your general health, preventing diseases, giving you more energy and staying slim.
Fiber can help many disorders including digestive, cardiovascular, cholesterol, diabetes and cancer. For example, diverticulosis a disease of the colon can be helped through fiber supplements. According to a Harvard University study, those who ate more fiber were less likely to experience uncomfortable symptoms of the disease. The reason is that fiber lowers the pressure inside the large intestine, allowing bowel contents to move through more easily.
Let food high in fiber be your medicine:
What is fiber? Fiber is the non-digestible material found in whole grain cereals, fruits, vegetables and legumes. These are the foods that our nana’s called roughage.
Fiber has the ability to promote regular bowel function. Therefore, we need a variety of foods that are found in nature that contain more than one type of fiber. There are 2 types of fiber- soluble and insoluble.
Here are the types of fiber: Cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin, gums, B-Glucans.
Functional fibers are the non-digestible polysaccharides that are added to a food to increase its fiber content. A person’s total fiber intake includes both dietary and functional fiber.
Here are some specifics: Grain groups– all bran, bran buds, oatmeal, air popped popcorn, whole wheat bread
Vegetable group- kidney beans, green peas, corn, potato with skin, carrots, broccoli, lettuce
Fruit group– apples, raisins, strawberries, orange, banana
Recommendations: the Adequate Intake (AI) for total fiber is based on the amount expected to lower the risk of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Men younger than 51- 38 g/d. 51 and older 30
For women younger than 51 25g/d and older21/
A Healthy Meal Plan
Here is an example meal plan. The Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington offers a sample menu to show you how to get enough fiber – plenty of phytonutrients. This will help to lower your risk of cancer. Have fiber rich produce in every meal and snack.
Breakfast: Glass of tomato juice or other vegetable juice, slice of tomato on toast; add sautéed vegetables to scrambled eggs or omelet.
Lunch: Salad with plenty of carrots, red cabbage, or other raw veggies. Include soup like beef vegetable or minestrone, or cream of broccoli. Include a side dish of cooked veggies.
Dinner: 2 vegetables or a vegetable salad; add peas, spinach to whole grain pasta.
Snacks: Munch on raw vegetables like carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery, broccoli or cauliflower florets and eat plenty of fruit.
Watson, B. ( 2007). The Fiber 35 Diet: Nature’s Weight Loss Secret. New York, NY. Free Press.
Houlihan, L. 2013-03-01. Five Top Tips that Can Help You Lose Fat. http://www.begin-healthy.com/viewarticle.php
Schlenker, E. and Roth, S,L/ (2011) Williams Essentials of Nutrition and Diet Therapy. Tenth Ed. St. Louis, MO. Elsevier Mosby