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Monday, February 23, 2009

FIBER FACTS

Okay, so it's been a long while since I have blogged. Holidays and the insane amount of time the kids are out of school along with nanny scheduling problems and snow days etc..... I know, excuses excuses. I am back now and feeling ambitious. I have some fiber facts for you. You need sufficient fiber for keeping bowels healthy, keeping elevated glucose in the system that your body isn't using from reeking havoc on all your systems, for blood cholesterol level help and to soak up all the garbage we inhale, ingest or just store. We eat only about 1/5 the amount of fiber we did 100 years ago. The average American consumes 8-11 grams of fiber a day. The American Hearth Association and the American Diabetic Association recommend 25-35 grams of fiber a day. I am going to take that a step further and say - if you are over the age 50 you need to bump that up to around 40 grams a day. High fiber diets inhibit the development of disease. To see if you have enough fiber - look at your stool (you all do it anyway) and see if it floats?! - It needs to. If it doesn't you need more insoluble fiber. Think insoluble for intestines. It will make you feel fuller longer between meals and will lower the glycemic index of foods that break down into the sugar very quickly in your system. It also acts as a natural laxative. So, what is insoluble fiber you say? It is in foods like: wheat bran, beets, peas, broccoli, carrots, lima beans pears, apples, brazil nuts whole grains and green beans. Let's talk quantity. A medium pear offers 5 grams fiber. An all bran cereal, 1/3 cup has 7 grams insoluble and another 1 1/2 grams soluble fiber. Soluable fiber helps to regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and aid in weight management. Diets high in soluble fiber help balance HDL and LDL cholesterol to healthy levels. A healthy diet should contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. 2/3 of that fiber intake should be insoluble. Examples of soluble sources are: flax seed, cabbage, pears, peas strawberries, green beans, psyllium, oat bran, corn peppers and green vegetables. Off and running again, have children to attend to. I vow to write more often.