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Friday, February 23, 2007

Fiber For Nutrition

What is Fiber?

Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble. Each acts differently in the intestines and benefits the body in different ways. Soluble fiber acts like a sponge; insoluble fiber acts like a broom.

Soluble fiber. Found in dried beans and peas, oat bran, rice bran, barley, and fruit pectin (the substance used to thicken jams and jellies). Soluble fiber absorbs water in the intestines, mixes the food into a gel, and thereby slows the rate of glucose digestion and consequent absorption in the bloodstream.

Insoluble fiber. This is the stringy stuff that holds plants together. It's called "insoluble" because it doesn't dissolve in water. It can be found mainly in plant leaves, peels, skins, and the coverings of whole grains (e.g., wheat bran). Like a disposable diaper, insoluble fiber can absorb many times its own weight in water. This water adds bulk and softness to the stools and keeps them moving along more comfortably. Think of eating fiber like brushing your teeth - it cleans out your intestines daily.

When you consume too much fiber your body will tell you. Many side affects of too much fiber is excessive gassiness, bloating, stomach pains, and stools being uncomfortable.

Plus, with too much fiber you might eat less food than you need to lose weight and burn fat. Fiber can stop the hunger pains from any cravings and if you eat to small amount of calories, it can hurt your weight loss.

General Tips For Good Fiber Nutrition

  • Purchase whole grain breads and cereals rather than refined ones.
  • Buy fresh produce and eat it raw and unpeeled whenever possible. Don't drink juice for the fiber; it is not a good source.
  • Instead of refined flour, roll chicken in whole grain flour, wheat bran or oat bran before baking.
  • Use oatmeal or oat bran in place of bread crumbs in meatloaf or meatballs.
  • Substitute cooked dried beans for part or all of the meat in casserole recipes. Use in soups, salads and sandwich spreads.
  • Drink more fluids. Water is what helps fiber work. Without it, insoluble fiber can block the digestive system.
  • Spread fiber throughout the day. As a general rule, try two servings of fiber-containing foods at each meal.
  • Exercise regularly. All the benefits of fiber will not outweigh the problems that come with too little physical activity.
If you want to learn more on nutrition, exercise, and weight loss than just go to top weight loss site and learn the truth for yourself.

Have a great day and God bless!

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