Don’t Get Off Track with these Fiber Facts

Stay off track with these fiber facts

Stay on track with these fiber facts

Fiber is an important part of your diet, and most people don’t get enough of it. In addition to getting enough fiber, you should also eat a variety of different types of fiber – as not all fibers work in the same way; they have different effects on the body. Just as you aim to eat a variety of foods to get a wide range of nutrients, a varied diet will also provide you with enough different types of fiber.

What is fiber and how much do you need?

Fiber (or also: fiber) is a structural component of foods of plant origin – found in vegetables, whole [unprocessed] fruits, legumes and cereals – e.g. corn and brown rice. There is no fiber in meat, fish and poultry. If you are not getting enough fiber, it is best to gradually increase your intake over several weeks. Dietary fiber has a loosening effect, increases the volume of stool and reduces the time it passes through the intestines. To maintain normal bowel movements in adults. intake of 25 g of fiber per day is recommended.

Different types of fiber and their benefits

There are 2 major classes of dietary fiber – fermentable and non-fermentable.

Unlike other nutrients, fiber is not digested in the digestive tract and therefore reaches the intestines undigested. Certain types of these fibers are broken down in the colon by the bacteria there. This process is called fermentation. Therefore, some fibers are fermentable and others are not.

Fermentable fiber

Apples, oranges, carrots, potatoes, oats, barley and beans contain fermentable fiber; some dissolve in water, and sticky ones can thicken. When they come into contact with the liquid in your stomach, these fibers swell and thicken, making you feel fuller for longer. Certain fermentable fibers slow down the absorption of glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream and help keep blood sugar levels balanced throughout the day.

Non-fermentable fiber

Non-fermentable fiber also supports digestive health, but in a different way. These fibers do not dissolve in water, but simply absorb water in the lower part of the digestive tract, making stools waterier and bulkier. This type of fiber is found in vegetables, wheat bran, corn bran, rice bran, and most whole grains.

Tips for increasing your fiber intake

  1. Eat unprocessed fruit with skin/rind; limit your intake of fruit juices.
  2. Let fresh fruit be your dessert.
  3. Consume lots and variety of fresh vegetables – cooked or raw.
  4. Eat breads/waffles/cereals/rolls/muffins/snacks made only with whole wheat flour instead of those made with refined white flour.
  5. Consume purple rice, brown rice, wild rice, millet, barley and whole wheat as an alternative to white rice.
  6. Add beans to main dishes – soups, stews, chili or salads.
  7. If you find it difficult to achieve optimal fiber intake, you can use fiber supplements. Remember, however, that fiber supplements are not a substitute for the healthy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains you should be eating.

You will learn many more facts about fiber with us. Welcome!

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