Thursday, August 6, 2009
Dietary fiber is a natural substance obtained from fruits, vegetables and cereals. Dietary fiber is the term used to describe the total fiber content of food. Dietary fiber is made up of two main types, insoluble and soluble. Dietary fiber is known to enhance intestine movement to help people keep in shape and prevent the hardening of arteries by lowering cholesterol in the blood. Dietary fiber is the part of plant materials that our body cannot digest. Dietary fiber is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. Dietary fiber is widely recognized as an important part of the treatment and prevention of diabetes, colorectal cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, high cholesterol, heart disease and obesity.
Fiber itself has no calories, yet provides a full feeling because of its water absorbing ability. Fiber is essential to human health in a number of ways. Fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can slow the absorption of sugar, which for people with diabetes, can help improve blood sugar levels. Fiber supplements are sold in a variety of forms from bran tablets to purified cellulose. Fiber ensures that the waste products move rapidly through the colon and in one way, they also help to prevent your risk of developing colon cancer. Fiber, especially in the absence of adequate water intake, can be so binding, as to cause severe constipation. Fibers that lower blood cholesterol levels include foods such as apples, barley, beans and other legumes, fruits and vegetables, oatmeal, oat bran and rice hulls. Fiber also appears to interact with intestinal bacteria and bile acids to process certain food substances. Fiber helps with lowering the risk of diabetes and heart problems. Fiber should come from a wide variety of natural foods. Fiber absorbs or binds with harmful fats, cholesterol, and toxins in the digestive tract, helping to carry them out of the body. Fiber has also demonstrated the ability to lower the risk of prostate cancer progression. Fiber supplements work by increasing the body's fiber intake.
Dietary fiber comes from the portion of plants that is not digested by enzymes in the intestinal tract. Dietary fiber provides a feeling of fullness and adds bulk in the diet. Dietary fiber is a complex mixture of plant materials that are resistant to digestion by humans. Dietary fibers promote beneficial physiological effects including laxation, blood cholesterol attenuation, and blood glucose attenuation. Caution, dietary fiber also slows stomach emptying, which may worsen delayed gastric emptying.
Foods high in Dietary Fiber, especially fresh fruits and veggies, are low in calories. Foods high in fiber often require more chewing, so a person is unable to eat a large number of calories in a short amount of time. Foods that provide dietary fiber can be found in three of the four food groups such as whole grain breakfast cereals, whole grain bread, fruit, vegetables, cooked beans, peas and lentils. Research proves that the higher the viscosity of soluble fiber, the better the control of blood sugar level in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Health benefits of a high fiber diet is widely recognized as an important part of the treatment and prevention of diabetes, colorectal cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, high cholesterol, heart disease and obesity. Healthy eating is especially important in mid life and later. Healthy individuals who eat a balanced diet rarely need supplements. Healthy men and women who were overweight or obese but susceptible to diabetes were tested in a recent study. They were all given a dietary supplement that was high in soluble fibers. All the tested individuals showed reductions in the levels of blood sugar and insulin production as a result of the supplement use. Fibers are an essential nutrient for good health and are helpful in practicing preventive health care.
Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flax seed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber has some additional benefits to heart health. Soluble fiber has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes by reducing total blood cholesterol and regulating blood sugar levels. Soluble fibers also may help control the rise in blood sugar following a meal and reduce insulin requirements in some patients with diabetes mellitus.
Fruits and vegetables are overflowing with high fiber. Fruits are generally high in pectin while vegetables contain a high percentage of cellulose. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grain products and nuts provide fiber.
Insoluble fiber helps bind water in the intestine and expands the volume of the intestinal contents, resulting in more frequent and softer stools. Insoluble fiber is most frequently found in whole grain products like whole wheat bread. Insoluble fiber passes through your digestive tract mostly intact. Insoluble fiber acts as a natural laxative that speeds the passage of foods through the stomach. Insoluble fibers do not dissolve in water and consist of cellulose, lignin and some hemicelluloses. Insoluble fiber such as cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin aid digestion, aid elimination, promote regularity, and contribute to bowel cleansing. Insoluble fiber is primarily found in chewy foods like whole wheat products, wheat and corn bran, the skin of fruits, and certain vegetables.
Eating too much fat or cholesterol, has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Eating 3 grams a day of soluble fiber from oats or 7 grams a day of soluble fiber from psyllium has been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. Eating a high fiber diet can also help improve your cholesterol levels, lower your risk of coronary heart disease, reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, and assist with weight loss.
Research proves that the higher the viscosity of soluble fiber, the better the control of blood sugar level in patients with type 2 diabetes.
Increase your consumption of dietary fiber very gradually to avoid digestive discomfort. The suggested goal for fiber intake is about 40grams a day, from various sources. Increase dietary fiber in your diet gradually over a period of a few weeks.
Coconut dietary fiber has a higher fiber content than many other fiber supplements. Coconut dietary fiber especially, is highly effective in controlling blood sugar. Coconut has one of the highest percentages of fiber among all plant foods. Coconut does not contain phytic acid and does not remove minerals from the body.
Dietary fiber is not found in animal products, such as milk and meats. Dietary fiber is known to slow down the absorption of sugars thus helping to keep blood sugar under control. Dietary fiber is generally obtained from plant foods, and consists of that portion of the plant which is not digested by man. Dietary fiber is not digested by the small intestine; instead, it passes to the colon unchanged. Dietary fiber is a very important link in the weight loss puzzle. Dietary fiber is also lacking in the majority of junk foods sold at so many fast food places. Dietary fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet. Dietary fiber is undoubtedly one of the most talked about nutrients for health promotion and disease prevention. Nutritionists recommend that we get 20-35 grams of dietary fiber a day. Bran cereal, wheat bread, oats, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts are fiber rich.