is a word we often hear and see called out on food packaging.
Commercials make you think it’s a nutrient for older adults to help with
irregularity, lowering blood cholesterol, or even heart health, but
it’s actually a nutrient for all ages. Here we’ll tell you what it is,
how it fits within the Zone Diet, how much you need, and why Dr. Sears
thinks it's beneficial.
What is Fiber?
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that
can’t be digested by the body. This is beneficial because it helps slow
down how quickly carbohydrates are broken down into sugar and absorbed.
It is found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes. It
is found naturally in foods but can be included as a food additive
during manufacturing, like inulin and oligosaccharides, to help boost
the fiber content.
Benefits of Eating Fiber
- Lowers Cholesterol
- Blood Sugar Control
- Weight Management
- Heart Health
- Gut Health
Types of Fiber
Fiber can either be soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber tends to slow
digestion by attracting water and helping foods swell (think oatmeal).
Insoluble fiber tends to pass more quickly through the body aiding
digestion (think non-starchy vegetables).
Dr. Sears writes extensively about the benefits of fermentable fiber.
This can either be soluble or insoluble fiber that reaches the colon
where it is fermented by the bacteria in our gut. The result of this
fermentation is that it produces beneficial changes in the composition
or activity of the bacteria in our gut helping to improve our overall
health and well-being.
How Much Fiber Do You Need Each Day?
Fiber is nutrient for all ages. It is recommended that individuals
consume about 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories consumed. On
average this about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men per day.
*Amounts based on 14grams/1000 calories
Click here to view full article and fiber food list