Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Fiber as part of a Healthy Diet Plan

In looking at different nutrients and components of a healthy diet plan, fiber must be included, if we want to build good health.

Eating enough fiber can help to lower the risk of developing certain diseases.
These include:
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Diverticular disease - disease of the colon. Causes pain, diarrhea, constipation.
  • Gallstones
  • Kidney stones

Two Types of Fiber

Fiber is actually carbohydrates that our enzymes are unable to break down. That means that instead of being used for energy, fiber is excreted out of our body. That doesn't mean it is wasted. It is absolutely necessary. The two types of fiber are soluble and insoluble.

Functions and Benefits of Insoluble Fiber

  • Moves bulk through the intestines
  • Controls and balances the ph in the intestines
  • Promotes regular bowel movement
  • Removes toxic waste through colon more quickly

Insoluble Fibre is found in:
  • Whole grains
  • Bran
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables - green beans, dark green leafy vegetables, skins of root vegetables
  • Fruit skins
  • Whole wheat products
  • Seeds
  • Nuts

Functions and Benefits of Soluble Fiber

  • Bind with fatty acids
  • Prolong time it takes for stomach to empty - sugar is released more slowly into the system
  • Lowers total cholesterol
  • Assists in the regulation of blood sugar

Soluble fiber is found in:
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Oats
  • Nuts
  • Flax seed

If you choose unrefined carbohydrates, rather than the processed, refined variety, a side benefit will be the inclusion plenty of fiber.
As you make your healthy diet plan, include a variety of foods with plenty of fruit and vegetables. Eat some unpeeled. Make sure that your fiber intake is spread out throughout the day to gain the most benefits.

Eat well


No comments:

Post a Comment