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What is Dietary Fiber, and How Should It Fit into Your Diet

Do You Have Dietary Fiber Deficiency?

When we ask what is dietary fiber, there are two general categories that each fit under.  There is soluble and insoluble fiber, and each has different characteristics and affects our bodies in different ways.  Each also is contained in different foods, and here we will break down the two and emphasize the importance of including both in your diet.

what is dietary fiberThe recommendations of the American Dietetic Association is for adults to consume a minimum of 20 to 35 grams of fiber daily, and this number will depend on the calories you consume.  By contrast, North Americans typically consume about one-half that much.   A proper diet will get you on the right track to your dietary needs (read more at http://healtheybalanceddiet.com/).

What is Dietary Fiber Soluble Food

Soluble dietary fiber is present to some extent in every plant food, and its major benefit to us is to create useful bacteria that help in the digestive process.  Cardio disease, hypertension, obesity and diabetes are some of the most critical health issues that we confront today, and containing the appropriate amount of soluble fiber in our diet could help prevent these medical problems.  There are many options for soluble fiber such as whole grains, beans and other legumes, plus potatoes, carrots berries, bananas, carrots and broccoli.

Fiber Facts; Get the Truth Concerning Dietary Fiber

Fiber Facts; Get the Truth Concerning Dietary Fiber

As for the grain options, barley, oats and rye would classify as excellent fiber rich foods.  Why these foods are so good for you is because of their probiotic nature, as they make digestion easier by promoting bacterial growth in the small intestines.  This allows for full absorption of the food you eat, allowing you to get more nutritional value out of your food.

Soluble fiber picks up water, forming a gel that slows digestion, making your stomach feel fuller for a longer period of time.  In addition, the process will help stabilize insulin levels.

In What Foods Will You Obtain Insoluble Dietary Fiber

Insoluble fiber can have a laxative effect, therefore preventing constipation.  Known as the gut-wrenching fiber, it does not attract water, but moves through the digestive tract and cleans things out.  This cleansing of the digestive tract is imperative to keeping things clean.

what is dietary fiberThere are many sources of insoluble fiber, such as celery, brown rice, barley, nuts, seeds, whole wheat and grains, and wheat bran green beans, dark leafy vegetables, grapes, cucumbers, carrots, onions, tomatoes, cabbage, broccoli and zucchini.  With this many to choose from there is no reason why you won’t be able to incorporate a wide variety of these in your diet, thereby keeping your digestive tract running cleanly and efficiently.

Fiber, either soluble or insoluble cannot be digested.  It is not absorbed into your bloodstream.  They are only there as a necessary vehicle for nutrients from other foods to be absorbed into the system.  The best diets will have a combination of both groups of fiber foods.  Soluble fiber foods may cause gas in some people, and if this becomes a problem move your diet to more insoluble types of foods.

Some of the foods you could add to your diet to relieve gas distress are oat cereals and apples, as well as making sure you drink sufficient quantities of water.  But unless you are looking for some specific health benefit for your fiber, try to incorporate as many different insoluble and soluble foods into your diet as you can to maximize your health benefits.  Now try taking the quiz in the below video and see what you know about fiber.

 

 

 

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