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How can I get more fiber in my gluten-free diet?
Gluten free oatmeal and cereals made with oatmeal are now fairly widely available but there are a lot of great choices for you to eat great food, eat gluten free and get a lot of fiber in your diet. Here are some suggestions.
A Little More Fiber Can Help You Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes
More and more children and adolescents are considered overweight or even obese, leading to a related rise in the cases of insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, and type 2 diabetes among children. This is usually attributed to the amount of sugar in their diets combined with the poor quality carbohydrates they eat.
Fiber for Breakfast!
Studies have shown that those who eat more fiber have a reduced risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes, but it's not clear whether this is an effect of the fiber itself, nor what type of fiber has this effect.
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We all know that losing weight by simply eating less can be a bit of a challenge. Researchers have been studying the effects of different elements of foods with the goal of finding ways for people to lose weight more successfully. Fiber intake has been associated with weight loss in some studies, but none of those studies looked at the effects of fruit and vegetable intake, which are also good sources of fiber.
Researchers in Spain analyzed five years of data from a large-scale study designed in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health (Nutrition 2006(5):22;504-511). A total of 11,707 men and women filled out demographic questionnaires as well as a food frequency questionnaire that included 13 specific items in the fruit category and 11 in vegetables. There were nine frequency categories for fruits and vegetables, ranging from 6 servings per day to "almost never." In addition, a specific question asked about weight change during the past five years, giving ten possible answers, from weight loss of over 10kg (about 22 pounds) to weight gain of over 10kg.
After analyzing the data, Dr. Bes-Rastrollo and her colleagues noted that among men, higher fiber intake meant a lower risk of weight gain: up to 48% for the highest intake of fiber. For women, those eating the most fiber had a decreased risk of weight gain of only 19%. Similarly, higher fruit and vegetable intake also meant a reduced risk of weight gain for men, but they saw no such effect for women.
The causes of the link between high fiber intake and lowered weight gain is unclear, but it may be related to decreased glycemic and insulin responses in the small intestine, which may lead to decreased hunger. High-fiber foods may also increase the feeling of satiety: you're satisfied sooner and therefore eat less.
More reason to get more whole grains and fruits and vegetables in your diet, all of which are good sources of fiber. Try Whole Wheat Pizza Dough instead of Plain Pizza Dough and make sure you have plenty of fruit handy for snacks.
First posted: July 12, 2006