Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Fiber Facts

Fiber is a vital part of our diet that is often underconsumed. A diet high in fiber helps maintain a healthy concentration of blood cholesterol, normal blood glucose, a healthy digestive tract, and a healthy body weight.

Fiber may also protect you against heart disease and stroke. This may be because a diet high in fiber fills you up with food that is low in saturated and trans fat and cholesterol, and it is high in protein and phytochemicals. For instance, to get reach your recommended daily fiber intake, you might substitute a plant protein, like legumes, for an animal source of protein, like meat or dairy, which has no fiber. This substitution provides protein, fiber and nutrients without the fat and cholesterol of animal products.

Sources: whole grains, vegetables and fruits
*It is best to eat a variety of these sources each day.
*The best cholesterol lowering foods are apples, barley, carrots, legumes and oats.

*Drink plenty of water!

Daily Recommended Fiber Intake:20-35 grams a day
*Most people only get 15 grams a day
*Men up to 50 yrs. - 38 grams; over 50 - 30 grams
*Women up to 50 yrs. - 25 grams; over 50 - 21 grams

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