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.
- 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
- 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