Nearly 95% of those I work with on nutrition plans have diets that are low in fiber and this is a serious epidemic in the United States! For today’s Wellness, I thought it might be helpful to understand WHY we need fiber and what can happen when we don’t have enough of it: Happy reading!
The importance of fiber (such as bran) in weight loss and health
It seems incredible that just one single factor, such as fiber can have such a dramatic effect on our health and well being, but the latest research is simply overwhelming! As our fiber intake has dropped to 8-15 grams a day, the diseases listed below have increased dramatically. Understanding fiber may be the single most important step you can take in improving your health.
- Fiber acts as an appetite suppressant. Fiber food absorbs water, causing it to swell. This gives a nice feeling of fullness that many weight loss programs do not provide.
- Helps reduce blood sugar swings. Fiber gives a nice, long, steady release of sugar into the bloodstream, reducing hunger pangs, headaches, and fatigue produced by rapid drops in blood sugar.
- Helps reduce the amount of insulin released by the pancreas by slowing down the breakdown of carbohydrates into glucose entering the bloodstream.
- Reduces the absorption of fats.
- Fiber food can actually impair the ability of the body to absorb sugars and fats. This means you can actually consume these foods occasionally and still lose weight by keeping insulin low and allowing the body to continue the fat burning process.
- Overweight individuals usually consume their food quickly. Fiber food takes longer to chew and automatically slows down the speed of consumption.
- Eating more fiber will help trigger the "satisfaction response" before large quantities are ingested; signaling the "I'm full" message.
Benefits of Fiber Foods:
- Improves bowel function
- Reduces bowel transit time
- Lowers Cholesterol
- Reduces risk of Colon Cancer
- Improves Diabetes
- Helps Weight Loss
- Lowers Triglycerides
The amount of fiber if decreased in the diet = the incidence of heart attacks, cancer of the colon and rectum, diverticulosis. Other symptoms we have listed above increase in direct proportion to fiber reduction.
Symptoms of a Low-Fiber Diet
|·Candida ·Constipation ·Gallstones ·Inflammation ·Psoriasis ·Colon Cancer ·PMS||·Cholesterol (high) ·Heart Disease ·Hemorrhoids ·Obesity ·Rheum.Arthritis ·Diverticulosis ·Vascular Disease||·Colitis ·Diabetes ·Hiatal Hernia ·Osteoarthritis ·Schizophrenia ·Irritable Bowel|
Top Fiber Foods
- Dried beans, peas, and other legumes. This includes baked beans, kidney beans, split peas, dried limas, garbanzos, pinto beans and black beans
- Bran cereals: Bran Buds, All-Bran, 100% Bran, Raisin Bran
- TRY A Simple, but powerful, high fiber Refrigerator Bran Muffin.
- Fresh or frozen lima beans
- Fresh or frozen green peas
- Dried fruit: figs, apricots and dates
- Raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
- Sweet corn: on the cob or kernels
- Whole-wheat and other whole-grain cereal products: Rye, oats, buckwheat and stone-ground cornmeal are all high in fiber. Bread, pastas, pizzas, pancakes and muffins made with whole-grain flours.
- Broccoli-very high in fiber!
- Baked potato with the skin: The skin, when crisp is the best part for fiber. Mashed and boiled potatoes are good too, not french fries, which contain a high percentage of fat.
- Green snap beans, pole beans, and broad beans: These are packaged frozen as Italian beans, in Europe they are known as haricot or french beans.
- Plums, pears, and apples: The skin is edible, and are all high in pectin.
- Raisins and prunes: Not as high on the list as other dried fruits (see #5) however valuable.
- Greens: Spinach, beet greens, kale, collards, swiss chard and turnip greens.
- Nuts: Especially Almonds, Brazil nuts, Peanuts, and Walnuts (Consume these sparingly, high fat content). Sensitive or Allergic to Nuts : Give Hemp Hearts a TRY as an alternative. Herbal Remedies - Hemp Recipes Healthy Hemp: Delicious Recipes for Using Hemp Foods by The Woodland Editors. If You Are Serious about Preventing disease - Revolutionizing your diet! Use Hemp Hearts, Hemp Hearts and Hemp Bars. This nutrient rich superfood is finally making a comeback! ORDER your Hemp Hearts, Oil or Bars, TODAY!
- Coconut (dried or fresh-sparingly, both are high in fat content).