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.
I love this utterly simple infographic. Nice reminder of how good for us some of these good-tasting foods are.
Eating whole grains is consistently associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease. Most of the benefits have been attributed to the relatively high fiber, vitamin, mineral and phytochemical content of whole grains. Notably, the soluble fiber beta-glucan found in oats has been recognized for its ability to lower both total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).
Cooking with Kathy Man
The soluble fiber in oats helps lower total and LDL cholesterol, but scientists now say that the cardiovascular health benefits of oats goes beyond fiber.
Eleven top scientists from around the globe presented the latest findings on the powerful compounds found in oats in a scientific session titled, Physicochemical Properties and Biological Functionality of Oats, at the 247th Annual Conference of the American Chemical Society in Dallas, TX. Scientists described research on the diverse health benefits of oats and emphasized the growing evidence that the type of phenolic compound avenanthramide (AVE) – found only in oats – may possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-itch and anti-cancer properties. The culmination of the studies suggests that oat AVEs may play an important role in protecting the heart.
Eating whole grains is consistently associated with a reduced risk of chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease. Most of the benefits have been attributed to the relatively high…
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Of all the superfoods, oats in all its forms may not be number one, but it’s right up there, according to the Food Channel.
Previously, I wrote up Mr. Lazy Cook’s awesome oatmeal.
Check it out for a fast simple way to fix very tasty oatmeal.
Herewith the top 10 good things about oats
1. Oats are a source of soluble and insoluble fiber.
2. Oats may help with weight control.
3. Oats are a whole grain.
4. All oat forms are equally nutritious. Steel cut, old fashioned oats (5 minute), quick oats (1 minute), and instant oats are different forms of the same thing – whole grain oats. On an equal weight basis, there is no nutritional difference between steel cut oats, old fashioned oats, quick oats and regular unflavored instant oatmeal. The only difference is the way the oat has been cut and/or rolled. Cutting and rolling affect cooking time and baking use, not nutritional content. I love this. I have foodie friends who sniff that they only eat steel cut oats.
A bowl of solid gold nutrition
5. Oats are the only major grain proven to help reduce blood cholesterol.
6. Oats offer many nutritional benefits.
7. Oats are packed with flavor
8. Oats add texture.
9. Oats are quick, convenient and full of variety.
10. Oats are versatile. Oats go beyond the breakfast bowl. Try them in meatloaf/meatballs, as a coating for chicken and fish, and as a partial flour replacement when baking. Quick or old fashioned oats can be substituted for up to one-third of the flour called for in recipes for muffins, biscuits, pancakes, loaf-type quick breads, coffeecakes, yeast breads, cookies and bars.
Rolled oats 1/2 cup (dry) is 150 calories, 3 grams of fat, no cholesterol or sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein.