Fiber Facts

Colorectal Specialists serving Kansas City

What is Fiber?

  • Fiber is the carbohydrate or starch that our bodies cannot digest
  • Fiber acts as a broom to sweep out the digestive tract
  • Dietary fiber is found only in plant food
  • Common food sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains

What types of Fiber are there?

There are two types of fiber: insoluble fiber and water-soluble fiber.

  1. Insoluble Fiber passes through the guy quickly:
    • It can prevent constipation
    • It can help prevent infections of the gut
    • It can help prevent hemorrhoids, heart disease, and some types of cancer
    • Food sources include fruit with skins, uncooked vegetables, nuts, legumes, bran, brown rice, and whole-grain flours
  2. Water Soluble Fiber acts like a sponge in the gut
    • The soluble fiber in food, such as oats, binds with cholesterol and remove it from the bloodstream
    • It can help lower blood sugar because it slows how fast foods are digested. Soluble fiber is important if you have diabetes
    • It may help firm stool and reduce diarrhea
    • Food sources include oats, oat bran, barley, dried beans, vegetables and fruits, such as applesauce, strawberries, potatoes, citrus, and prunes

How can Fiber help me lose weight?

  • Fiber helps you feel full because it stays in your gut for a longer period of time. This helps prevent overeating because you are not so hungry
  • High fiber diets are lower in calories and fat
  • Fiber makes you chew foods more, so you tend to eat SLOWER

How much fiber should I be eating?

  • The American Dietetic Association recommends eating 20 to 30 GRAMS OF FIBER PER DAY
  • Most people are only about 15 grams of fiber a day
  • If you are not in the habit of eating a high fiber diet, you may have problems with gas in the beginning. Start slowly and be sure that are you are drinking 6 to 8 cups of water a day.

How can I get more Fiber in my diet?

  • Snack on fresh or dried fruit instead of candy. Choose fruit cobbler, whole-wheat bran, or fruit muffins in place of desserts.
  • Use bean dips such as black bean, hummus, and refried beans with whole grain crackers or vegetables instead of sour cream. Include at least 4 services of lentils or beans each week.
  • Add wheat germ to hot cereals or yogurt. Trying adding bran cereal or oatmeal to replace breadcrumbs in the meatloaf.
  • Try air-popped popcorn without butter or fat-free microwave popcorn instead of potato chips.
  • Substitute whole-wheat for ¼ to ½ of the total amount of white flour needed in recipes. The rest of the flour can come from white flour.
  • Include at least 3 servings of whole grains and cereals each day(whole wheat, oats, brown rice, bran or barley)
  • Choose 5 or more servings of fruit or vegetables each day

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