Carbohydrates get a bad wrap. However, there’s the special carbohydrate all of us should have within our nutritional diet.
The special carbohydrate is FIBER!
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Fiber is different from simple carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates are broken down and digested rapidly. They contain refined sugars and very few essential vitamins and minerals (i.e., table sugar, fruit juice, brown sugar, soft drinks, corn syrup, etc.).
Fiber plays an important role in optimizing your health The average American consumes less than 15 grams of fiber per day.
- Women need 25-30 grams
- Men need 30-38 grams
How does dietary fiber support you?
- Helps improve bowel function
- Reduces the risk of colon cancer
- Helps stabilize blood sugar
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Reduces LDL cholesterol
- Keeps your digestive track moving
The impact fiber has on digestion is great. High fiber foods take longer to chew giving time for your body to communicate with your brain…I’m full!
In the stomach, fiber absorbs the water and creates bulk. And it aides in satiation. In the small intestines through the colon, fiber continues moving things along. It’s also where the fermentation process begins which is vital to gut health.
Keep in mind, you need soluble and insoluble fiber. Both have benefits.
Soluble Fiber (apples, berries, flaxseeds) provides food to the “good army of bacteria” in your gut which helps to make vitamins.
Insoluble Fiber is a great maid for cleaning the gut. When the intestines are clean, it’s easier for your gut to absorb the fermented products from the soluble fiber.
Not getting enough fiber? The Mayo Clinic recommends adding some of the following in your daily consumption:
- Whole grains
- Bean, peas, and other legumes
- Nuts and seeds
The K.I.S.S. ~ God made it, You can eat it!
Stay clear of refined or processed foods like canned fruit, canned vegetables, fruit juices, white breads and pastas, and non-whole grain cereals. All of these are low in fiber.
Please remember how the grain-refining process works by removing the outer coat (the bran) of the grain which lowers the fiber content.
ENRICHED foods had added vitamins and iron, but not the fiber.
- Look at your daily nutrition
- Know YOUR fiber numbers
- Add in fiber where you need it
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