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How Do I Get More Fiber In My Diet?

Jan 29, 2008
Fiber is an essential element to maintaining a good digestive system. It is a known fact that a substantial amount of insoluble fiber helps to move material through the colon faster thereby cleansing the digestive tract. In addition to these advantages it is also a healthy addition to a nutritious diet.

Studies have proven that consuming adequate amounts of fiber can actually help reduce the risks of colon cancer. It also assists in solidifying the bulk of the solid waste, so that people especially the elderly feel less constipated.

Some excellent sources of Insoluble fiber that doesn't readily dissolve in water are nuts, wheat bran, whole grains and most vegetables. There is however another type of fiber known as soluble fiber. As the name suggests this kind of fiber readily dissolves in water and also offers several benefits.

Research has found that sources of soluble fiber which include citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons, apples, barley and oats can actually help reduce cholesterol levels.

The recommended daily dose of fiber for adults over 50 years should ideally be 21 grams for women and 30 grams for men. For individuals under 50, it should be 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men.

However these amounts are based on the average weight which for men is about 170 lbs and around 120 lbs for women. Individuals should consult the appropriate tables to find the fiber intake that is adequate for their weight. If people are sensitive to certain kinds of food, they should try and find alternative sources of food that not only contain adequate amounts of fiber but which also suit their special circumstances.

Most of the time there are certain foods that are right for all. For example, Bran muffins are an excellent source of fiber. However, sometimes these muffins are high in fats and sugars so one should try and seek out a low fat option. A cup of raisin bran cereal contains roughly 7 grams of fiber and also has the added benefits of helpful vitamins too.A cup of oatmeal or black beans also have fiber ranging between 4 to 7 grams.

The important thing to keep in mind is that one shouldn't opt for foods that are rich in fiber but also calories. It seems pointless to pile on calories when getting the needed nutrients. For example, a couple of dozen peanuts are high in fiber but at the same time also high in fat. The key is to eat in moderation.

Fruits are excellent sources of fiber. A cup of raspberries contain at least 5.5 grams of fiber. Blackberries on the other hand contain 3.8g while an apple contains 3.3 grams of fiber.

When it comes to bread, whole grain bread contains more fiber and less calories in comparison to ultra processed white bread. One can get upto 4 grams of fiber by eating a sandwich.

Therefore, it is important to consume both soluble and insoluble fiber as part of your daily diet to keep fit and remain healthy.
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