Unlike the weather, as in Mark Twain’s famous quote, “Everybody talks about it, but nobody does anything about it” fiber is different. Everybody talks about it and there is plenty we can do about it. Following is what the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has to say about it.
Fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains all contain dietary fiber, a type of carbohydrate that provides minimal energy for the body. Although the body can’t use fiber efficiently for fuel, it’s an important part of a healthy eating plan and helps with a variety of health conditions.
- Heart disease: Fiber may help prevent heart disease by helping reduce cholesterol.
- Weight management: Fiber slows the speed at which food passes from the stomach to the rest of the digestive system – this can make us feel full longer. Foods that are higher in dietary fiber often are lower in calories as well.
- Diabetes: Because fiber slows down how quickly food is broken down, it may help control blood sugar levels for people with diabetes by reducing blood sugar levels after meals.
- Digestive issues: Fiber increases bulk in the intestinal tract and may help improve the frequency of bowel movements.
The recommended amount of dietary fiber is 14 grams for every 1,000 calories per day, or, about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men each day. Your exact needs may vary depending on your energy needs.
Whole grains and beans tend to be higher in fiber than fruits and vegetables, but all are sources of dietary fiber and contribute other important nutrients. Make sure to include a variety of these foods regularly to meet your dietary fiber needs. These are a few tips to help increase your fiber intake from foods:
- Mix in oats to meatloaf, bread or other baked goods.
- Toss beans into your next salad or soup.
- Chop up veggies to add to sandwiches or noodle dishes such as pasta or stir-fry.
- Blend fruit into a smoothie or use it to top cereal, pancakes or desserts.
It also is important to drink plenty of water and to increase your fiber intake gradually in order to give your body time to adjust.
Here is yet another reason to be sad about the SAD – Standard American Diet.
A new study by Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California researcher links increased dietary potassium with lower hypertension.
Consuming potassium-rich foods like sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach, beans, bananas — and even coffee — could be key to lowering blood pressure, according to a USC researcher.
“Decreasing sodium intake is a well-established way to lower blood pressure,” said Alicia McDonough, professor of cell and neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, “but evidence suggests that increasing dietary potassium may have an equally important effect on hypertension.” Continue reading
I am still convinced that portion control is a key concept in controlling your weight. If you stick with these you can’t go far wrong.
There are some good ideas here. I have always thought that major change is like turning an ocean liner at sea. It is best done in small increments. Just as she says here.
You can also check out my Page: How to Lose Weight – and Keep it Off for more guidelines that I have learned in my successful battle of the bulge.
Our Better Health
By Deanna Schober
Change is best made in baby steps. As you have probably already learned at some point in your life, change that involves a complete overhaul is really tough to stick to and a pretty sure recipe for failure.
Habits are best changed one at a time. Try mastering one new habit every 2-3 weeks, then when it becomes a routine, you can start on the next one. Here are ten suggestions on where to start:
1. Avoid Fast Food
I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know -”Fast food is bad for you”. But that’s an abstract concept, “bad for you” – do you know why it is? You may hear all about how high in calories fast food is, but what you may not know is how it is also full of MSG, horrible cancer-causing chemicals, and trans fats.
Many fast food places even use…
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“We all know that eating fruit and vegetables is healthy, but the size of the effect is staggering,” says Dr Oyinlola Oyebode of UCL’s Department of Epidemiology & Public Health, lead author of the study. “The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die at any age. Vegetables have a larger effect than fruit, but fruit still makes a real difference. If you’re happy to snack on carrots or other vegetables, then that is a great choice but if you fancy something sweeter, a banana or any fruit will also do you good.”
Cooking with Kathy Man
Researchers at University College London used the Health Survey for England to study the eating habits of 65,226 people representative of the English population between 2001 and 2013, and found that the more fruit and vegetables they ate, the less likely they were to die at any age. Eating seven or more portions reduces the specific risks of death by cancer and heart disease by 25% and 31% respectively. The research also showed that vegetables have significantly higher health benefits than fruit.
This is the first study to link fruit and vegetable consumption with all-cause, cancer and heart disease deaths in a nationally-representative population, the first to quantify health benefits per-portion, and the first to identify the types of fruit and vegetable with the most benefit.
Compared to eating less than one portion of fruit and vegetables, the risk of death by any cause is reduced by 14% by eating…
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I’ve been writing about a recent trip to London where I went through training for a new job I’ve taken in the Chicago office of a British employer.
The office in London had many differences from the one here, some a bit quirky but at least one that I found very pleasant, and healthy.
Twice a week there, cartons of fresh fruit are delivered to the office and put out in bowls throughout the place. Apples, bananas, I think oranges as well.
And people flock to the free fruit. I grabbed the last apple the morning after a shipment from the previous day, it was the only piece of fruit left. I had a banana the second day they were delivered (I think deliveries were Tuesday and Thursday). Continue reading
I’m an admitted junk food junkie, can’t live without chocolate, so finding healthy things I like to eat is always a challenge for me. But summer does present some of my favorite non-junk snacks.
I’ve been thrilled lately, for example, that Costco is selling California figs. If you’ve never had a fig, you’ve missed a lot. And fresh ones are so much more flavorful than the dried ones you can buy in most supermarket produce aisles. Their sweetness is amazing and they’re a great source of fiber as well.