Fiber refers to complex carbohydrates that your body cannot digest or absorb into your bloodstream. Fiber is not used as energy like other types of carbohydrates, but instead is excreted. Fiber is a very healthy component of some foods and deserves much attention for its health benefits.
Fiber may help prevent certain types of cancer, for diabetics soluble fibers help to control blood sugar levels and fiber may help lower total blood cholesterol. Fiber can also help in weight loss. With the added bulk, fiber can help you feel full longer, making it less probable that you will nibble soon after eating a meal.
Fiber consists of soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fibers include pectin, fruits, oats and barley. Soluble fiber helps control blood cholesterol levels. Insoluble fibers create the tough texture found in such foods as wheat bran, whole grains (contain soluble and insoluble), and vegetables. Insoluble fibers promote regularity and help prevent constipation.
Foods loaded with fiber are usually packed with additional nutrition such as; complex carbohydrates, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Most high fiber foods are low in fat and cholesterol too!
The American Heart Association recommends a total dietary intake of 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. The Nutrition Facts Panel on packaged foods lists the exact amount of fiber in foods. Words on the package may give you a quick description as you walk through the grocery store:
- High fiber – 5 grams or more per serving
- Good source of fiber – 2.5 to 4.9 grams per serving
- More or added fiber – At least 2.5 grams more (compared with a standard serving size of the traditional food) per serving
Foods that contain 10% or more daily value, on the Nutrition Facts Panel, can be considered a good source of fiber. Fiber content is required to be on all packaged food labels.
Physicians Weight Loss Center’s Fiber Capsules contain excellent sources of fiber including psyllium which is high in soluble fiber. The fiber capsules are easy to use and require no mixing or measuring. Clients take up to four capsules daily at different times throughout the day, each with an eight-ounce glass of water.