Index Nutrition People
|First Posted Dec 27, 2008|
Jul 30, 2010
Fiberby Debora Johnson
Just what does it mean when you hear there should be more fiber in your diet? You see the number of grams in fiber on packaging lables of foods that you buy. Legumes, whole grains, and fruits and vegetables are sources of fiber. Fiber is really important because it helps to normalize your blood sugar, helps improve cholesterol levels--both good (HDL) and bad (LDL), it helps you in the regulation of your digestive system, it is helpful (if eaten properly) in weight reduction, and fiber fills you up and cuts down on hunger. It can be very helpful in your quest to lose weight. Research tells us that we should eat between 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day.
It is important to understand the different types of fiber. There are basically two forms of fiber. Some fiber is "soluble" and some is "insoluble." What does that mean?
Types of Fiber: Soluble Fiber and Insoluble Fiber
Interestingly enough both soluble and insoluble fiber are undigested. Consequently, they are not absorbed into the bloodstream. Fiber is not used as energy, but rather, fiber is excreted from our bodies. Soluble fiber can be mixed with a liquid and it will form a gel type substance. Insoluble fiber does not mix with a liquid. Insoluble fiber passes through our intestines largely intact. Sometimes you will hear fiber referred to as "bulk."
What Foods Have Soluble Fiber?
What Foods Have Insoluble Fiber?
It is of interest to note that most foods contain both soluble and insoluble fibers.
The 5 Most Fiber Rich Plant Foods
"The five most fiber-rich plant foods, according to the Micronutrient Center of the Linus Pauling Institute, are legumes (15-19 grams of fiber per US cup serving, including several types of beans, lentils and peas), wheat bran (17 grams per cup), prunes (12 grams), Asian pear (10 grams each, 3.6% by weight), and quinoa (9 grams).
Remarkable among plant foods, the Amazonian palmberry, açai (Euterpe oleracea Mart.), has been analyzed by two research groups reporting its content of dietary fiber is 25-44% of total mass in freeze-dried powder.
Rubus fruits such as raspberry (8 grams of fiber per serving) and blackberry (7.4 grams of fiber per serving) are exceptional sources of fiber."
The material on this web site is provided for informational purposes only, and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always check with your doctor.