Tuesday, April 7, 2015

FIBER .. the GRANDDADDY in nutrition !

Let's talk about fiber ! Fiber is important in your diet. It helps with digestion, keeping your body feeling full and it has many health benefits. But so many people don't understand what fiber really is... lets take a quick look !
Fiber is basically an indigestible nutrient – the two main types being soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber is the kind of fiber that dissolves in water and absorbs water. Once you eat it, the body turns it into a kind of thick gel like substances which moves very slowly through your body. This is a good thing because as I stated above soluble fiber fills you up and keeps you fuller longer. That feeling of "fullness" that fiber provides is called satiety.
In addition to these benefits, soluble fiber also slows the absorption of glucose (sugar) into the body. This means you’re going to avoid those nasty sugar highs and lows. Fiber inhibits the re-absorption of bile into the system. Bile is a fat emulsifier and therefore if you inhibit bile re-absorption, your liver needs to get its cholesterol fix from your blood. This means lower blood-serum cholesterol levels.
So how can we get more of it into our diets on a regular basis?
The easiest way to get more fiber is to eat fiber-rich foods such as oats, fruits, veggies, and, perhaps most importantly, legumes. If you want the best bang for your buck, eating legumes has a higher fiber content and LESS carbohydrate content which keeps you full without the extra carbs ! Here is the catch, they also produce gas... and the silent but deadly kind ! Why does it cause such a stench?Legumes pass very slowly through our digestive tracts while we try to break down the complex carbohydrates known as oligosaccharides.
The problem is that your body does not have the particular enzymes in your digestive tracts needed to break down these sugars. What happens to them they just sit there fermenting in your gut, thus producing the unwanted side effects.
So how much do you need ?
The average American gets 14 grams of fiber a day but below is what you're supposed to be getting per day!
•Men under 50, 38 grams of fiber per day
•Men over 50, 30 grams of fiber per day
•Women under 50, 25 grams of fiber per day
•Women over 50, 21 grams of fiber per day
Now that you know how much you should be eating you want to take it slow. Add in fiber little by little or your body will go haywire and not know how to adjust to it causing bloating and major gas pains. The easiest way to get started is to add fiber to breakfast. you can get a fiber-packed breakfast routine going, you can probably add a solid 5-10 grams of fiber to your daily diet.
Here are some examples on how to add fiber to breakfast!
•Eat a cereal with 5 or more grams of fiber per serving.
•If you have a favorite cereal you just can't let go of, add few tablespoons of unprocessed wheat bran or mix it with a high fiber cereal.
•If you like to eat toast in the morning, make it whole wheat bread. Alternatively, there are brands of bread and English muffins that have 5 or more grams of fiber per slice.
• Bake muffins that incorporate crushed bran cereal or unprocessed wheat bran.
•Add fruits like berries, raisins, or bananas to your cereal (or over your pancakes or waffles) to increase your fiber by 1-2 grams.[3]
•Substitute oat flour and flax for white flour in pancake recipes for an additional 1-2 grams of fiber per serving.
Also, adding in fruits and veggies is great but keep the skin or peel on that is where the fiber is.It's also worth knowing that keeping the skin on potatoes when you cook them will help keep more vitamins and minerals in the fleshy part of the veggie. Just don't eat any parts of skin that are green.
Eat whole grain products. Whole grains are higher in fiber because they haven't had the outer skin removed through processing. Not only will this offer the health benefits of added fiber, but it can also help you lose belly fat. A diet rich in whole grains changes the glucose and insulin response in your body, which hastens the melting of fat, and visceral fat, that deep layer of fat, is easier for your body to burn than the subcutaneous fat under your skin. This is the fat that you can see and grab.
Add beans and nuts to your diet. These are easy additions to your meals. Pop some onto salads, cook with them or make soups with peas and beans ! Not only are they high in fiber but they are high in protein as well. Be cautious because they are higher in carbohydrates and the nuts are HIGH in fats.
So when it comes to a healthy diet, make sure that your eating enough fiber to keep you full ! This means you need to eat a healthy source of carbohydrates that come from veggies first, then whole grains and lastly fruit ! Be smart about the choices you make in terms of macronutrient content!!!

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