Friday, November 24, 2017 22:16

Up With Fiber

Posted by on Friday, August 21, 2009, 13:06
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Most North Americans should double their fiber intake. InĀ  the last 25 years, researchers have started to link our Western diet with typically western diseases like hemorrhoids, gallstones and bowel and colon cancers.

What makes our modern diet all too different is the lack of fiber. We eat literally tons of processed foods, and the processing takes the fiber out. Finally, we are trying to put it back in.

Dietary fiber is the part of the plant that we do no digest. It goes in one end and out the other. There are many different kinds of fiber which are beneficial in different ways. Fiber can be divided broadly into two categories: the soluble and the insoluble.

Insoluble fibers absorb and hold water. They provide bulk that pushes food through the digestive system quickly. These are the ones that are credited with combating constipation, promoting bowel regularity and treating diverticular disease. The food sources are wheat bran, whole grain breads and cereals, and many fruits and vegetables.

Soluble fibers mix with water in the intestine to form a gel like substance. This substance acts as a trap that can collect certain waste materials and move them out of the body. Soluble fibers help lower cholesterol and may be helpful in controlling diabetes. The food sources of soluble fiber include oat bran, oatmeal, lentils, legumes, flax, psyllium and pectin rich fruits such as apples and citrus fruits.

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