Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Fiber...are you getting enough?

I just got back from doing a radio interview with Leeza Gibbons. She is GREAT! Her office had a really cool Zen vibe and one of her employees even brings his dog to work, which I love! One of the first things Leeza said was how excited she was to meet me. Isn’t that cool. She was excited to meet me! No wonder she is so successful. She makes people feel so special. I had a blast talking to her!

Yesterday I did a radio media tour, which means I got up at 4 am to do 16 radio interviews in a row. During each interview I gave a bunch of fitness tips and talked a lot about fiber. As you may, or may not know, I am a member of the National Fiber Council. Our mission is to educate consumers on the importance, as well as the benefits, of getting adequate fiber every day. I have been a long time advocate of fiber, not just because it’s great for the body, but because it helps tremendously with weight loss. Sadly, most people only consume about half of the daily recommended 32 grams.

If you missed the interviews, then here’s the “skinny” on how fiber makes you skinny.

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Both types of fiber are undigested, and are not absorbed into the blood stream. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance that traps sugars, fats and cholesterol. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and passes through the digestive system largely in tact. So how does fiber make you skinny (and healthy)?

-Soluble fiber binds with sugars, fats and cholesterol
-Soluble fiber slows digestion in the stomach, thus making you feel full longer
-Soluble fiber regulates blood sugar, thus making you less likely to crash and then crave junk
-Soluble fiber lowers cholesterol
-Insoluble fiber promotes regularity
-Insoluble fiber removes toxic waste through the colon in less time
-Insoluble fiber helps prevent colon cancer

I think it’s pretty amazing that just 32 grams of fiber every day, can have so many benefits.

In order to get your daily fiber dose, you’ve got to eat more of these things:

-Fresh fruits & veggies
-Dried fruit
-Whole grains
-Nuts
-Flax seed
-Wheat germ

So how do you incorporate these things into your diet? Here’s how:

-Eat more veggies. Add spinach, mushrooms, onions or other veggies to your egg whites in the morning. Have a salad for lunch and not just lettuce. Add cucumber, tomatoes, walnuts, and/or cranberries.
-Add berries to your cereal or yogurt
-Add lettuce, tomato, and grilled peppers to your burger
-Switch to whole grains, like brown rice instead of white, or whole wheat bread instead of white.
-Start your dinner with a salad


So what does eating 32 grams of fiber every day look like?

-Breakfast: 1 package of plain instant oatmeal ( 3 g) with ½ cup of blueberries ( 2 g) = 5 g
-Snack: Apple ( 3 g) with ¼ cup of almonds ( 3.4 g) = 6.4 g
-Lunch: Salad: 2 cups of mixed greens (2 g) with ¼ cup artichoke hearts (2 g), 1 tablespoon of slivered almonds (1g) and 4 oz of grilled chicken = 5 g
-Snack: Medium banana = 4 g
-Dinner: Salmon with broccoli (5 g) with ½ cup of brown rice (3 g) = 8 g
-Dessert: ½ cup of raspberries = 4 g

TOTAL FIBER: 32.4 grams

It may seem like a lot at first but fruit and veggies are naturally low in calories. By choosing from a wide variety of these and switching from refined carbohydrates to whole grains, you will be well on your way to getting enough fiber. If you are still struggling, try a fiber supplement like Metamucil. There is a new Lemonade flavor that tastes good and delivers 3 grams of fiber per serving. Just mix with water.

If you want more information on the benefits of fiber or how to get more of it into your diet go to www.nationalfibercouncil.org Request of the new free “Dine In, Dine Out” pocket guide to help you make better, high fiber food choices!

2 comments:

derek c said...

Hi,

Fiber is indeed so important! Great post. My mother always encourages me to get more fiber in my diet, so she always makes my family fiber-rich muffins. Aside from digestion, fiber is *great* for high cholesterol problems, which also runs in my family. It helps fight diabetes, too! In addition to your article, you can find information on how great fiber is for your diet over at the Dietary Supplement Information Bureau page on fiber. We are a not-for-profit, non-commercial site dedicated to providing accurate, science-based information on dietary supplements.

Thanks!

Derek

Dietary Supplement Information Bureau

Valerie Waters said...

Thanks for that info Derek. val