Fiber facts

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Fiber facts

High-fiber diets are recommended for prevention of all kinds of health issues, including Type II Diabetes, metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, heart disease, and colorectal cancers.  We have been hearing about fiber for decades, but eating enough fiber is so important to our health that the basics bear reviewing.

There are essentially two kinds of fiber: water-soluble and water-insoluble.

Insoluble fiber is important for promoting bowel movements and maintaining bowel health.  This is incredibly important, not just for comfort-sake (as anyone who has been constipated will tell you) but also because bowel movements are one of the main ways that our bodies excrete toxins from the body.

Soluble fiber has many important effects as well.  It has been shown to:

  • lower blood cholesterol by lowering low-density lipoproteins                          (LDL – the cholesterol you want Less of).
  • control blood sugar by slowing the absorption of sugars.                               (This is why eating an apple won’t spike your blood sugar levels as high as drinking apple juice, which has all the fiber removed.)
  • help with weight loss by providing bulk to a meal with less calories as well as requiring more chewing time for each bite, making it harder to over-eat.

Getting more fiber actually isn’t that hard to do and just involves a few mindful choices at the grocery store and in your meal planning.  Click here for tips on getting more fiber in your daily diet.

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