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We know that fiber can help prevent some cancers, reduce your cholesterol, help you avoid problems with heart disease and help diabetics control their blood sugar. Almost every week I read another positive study on how great high fiber foods are for you health. While there's no magical dietary cure eating foods that are higher in fiber is pretty close and is one of the easiest changes that you make in your diet.
Fiber is what your grandma used to call roughage. It's not one particular food but the part of plant foods that your body can't digest. Fibers are technically carbohydrates but your body doesn't have the enzymes to break them down. As a result, they're not absorbed and essentially have no calories.
Most of us need to increase the amount of fiber in our diet. The average American gets only 10 - 15 grams of fiber per day. 25 - 30 grams per day is optimum.
There are two types of fiber - soluble and insoluble:
I was talking with a patient the other day and they asked about simple ways to make those changes. The best part is that it is very easy.
Here's a few recipes to get you started:
Here are some links to recent research on fiber:
Eating Whole Grains May Help Prevent Age-Related Weight Gain
More on eating an apple a day...
It's never too late to reduce your risk of heart disease
Want to avoid gaining weight? Get more fiber!
Last updated: 09/11/06