What is the deal with fiber?

Hello and welcome to day one of Anne Fleming’s blog!  My main goal will be to offer up healthy ideas you can gradually incorporate into your life that are easy to do and won’t take more than 2 minutes to tell you about.  So here goes!

I was with a group of women this weekend and in one way or another we were all trying to eat well while still having room for wine and fun in our life.  It is always a challenge to balance it all but I am finding short cuts for myself all the time and things that work that I feel are worth sharing.

My very first one, which may be obvious to many but is a good idea for all, is to add one food that gives you more fiber every day.  It helps keep you full, slows down your body’s release of insulin, and best of all helps push everything through your colon.  When foods hang out for too long in the colon, nasty toxins accumulate and the body has a hard time getting rid of them.  There are two kinds of fiber and we need to be consuming both of them because they do different things:

  • soluble fiber binds to the excess cholesterol and ushers it out of the body.  It can be found in raw fruit, vegetables, legumes, oats, bran and barley.
  • insoluble fiber scrubs the intestinal walls and keeps food moving through your system. It is found in whole grains like wheat germ, wild rice, wheat bran, buckwheat, corn meal, millet, rice bran and whole wheat.

One of my favorite sources is flax seed because it contains both kinds of fiber along with omega 3’s.

The consumption of high fiber foods greatly contributes to being able to achieve and maintain optimal weight.  You feel more full and satisfied and are less likely to overeat in a sitting.  I recommend everyone shoot for 30-40 grams a day, which is more than double what most people are getting.  Even a small increase, if achieved consistently will have you eating less during the day, and contribute to weight loss.  And of course, the more you can add on a daily basis, the better!

I find that if I have eaten plenty of fiber during the day, I am less apt to reach for something unhealthy, or if I do it is a small portion.


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