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All About Fiber

Apr 6, 2011 12:19:57 PM / by staff

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is important to overall health despite the fact that the human body can’t entirely digest it. It is usually found in plants, vegetables and grains. There are two basic kinds of fiber: soluble fiber, which dissolves in liquid and insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve.

Fiber is appreciated for its numerous anti-aging benefits. Fiber is known to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Additionally, insoluble fiber can help you have healthy bowel movements, which is why it’s commonly used by people who have IBS. It is also used as a means to reduce the incidence of colon cancer. Soluble fiber is appreciated for its ability to lower cholesterol, as fiber prevents the absorption of cholesterol. Fiber is quite filling and is low in calories, so it is often used to assist in weight loss.

There are two ways that you can get fiber. One is to consume foods that contain fiber; this is called dietary fiber. The second way to add fiber into your diet is to take fiber supplements. The recommended doses for fiber vary based on age and gender and range between 19 and 38 grams per day.

Experts agree that you can’t take too much fiber as it is safe in high amounts. Side effects of taking fiber include gas, bloating and cramping. These effects can be lessened by extra drinking water. Fiber supplements have been known occasionally to cause intestinal blockage. Additionally, some fiber supplements contain sugar and salt. For these reasons, it is advisable to speak to your Rochester Hills, MI doctor before consuming an anti-aging fiber supplement.

As an alternative to a supplement, you can get fiber from whole foods, such as grains, vegetables and fruits.

Some of the best sources of soluble dietary fiber include:

  • Strawberries, citrus fruits and apples
  • Rice and oat bran
  • Barley and oatmeal
  • Lentils, beans and peas

For insoluble dietary fiber, consider:

  • Whole grains such as barley
  • Carrots, beets, cauliflower and cabbage
  • Whole wheat bread, cereal and bran

Tags: Functional Medicine, Nutrition

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