Mindfulness is the key to healthy eating. That, and a little bit of brainwashing.
Fiber is a buzz word when it comes to good health. The sad fact is, the average American consumes about 15 grams of fiber a day – where we should be indulging in at least 25 grams a day.
Fiber The Workhorse.
It’s a mystery as to why fiber is not embraced as a key to disease prevention. Take a look at this:
Fiber and Heart Disease: A high intake of dietary fiber has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease in a number of large studies, where people were followed over a long period of time. In a Harvard study of over 40,000 male health professionals, researchers found that a high total dietary fiber intake was linked to a 40 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease, compared to a low fiber intake.
Fiber and Type 2 Diabetes: When it comes to factors that increase the risk of developing diabetes, a diet low in cereal fiber and rich in high-glycemic-index foods (which cause big spikes in blood sugar) seems particularly bad. Studies show that this combination nearly doubles the risk of of Type 2 Diabetes when compared to an inverted diet: high fiber, low glycemic-index foods.
Fiber and Diverticule Disease: Diverticulitis is a painful disease and is estimated to occur in one-third of folks over age 45 and in two-thirds of those over age 85. Among male health professionals in a long-term follow-up study, eating dietary fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, was associated with about a 40 percent lower risk of diverticular disease.
Fiber and Constipation: The gastrointestinal tract is highly sensitive to dietary fiber, and consumption of fiber seems to relieve and prevent constipation.
Increase Your Fiber Consumption Painlessly:
We American’s like instant fixes. Usually my attitude is there IS no easy way to change a diet. In the case of fiber, this is not true. Here is a three step program resulting in the consumption of 100% the daily recommended fiber with an investment of 420 calories.
1. Have a Gnu Foods Flavor & Fiber bar for breakfast or as a mid afternoon snake: 48% or 12 grams of dietary fiber.
2. Add 1/2 cup of rinsed Great Northern Beans to a salad or make a bean puree and spread it on a piece of whole grain bread for lunch: the beans alone account for 7 grams or 28% of your daily fiber need.
3. Swap out regular pasta for whole wheat pasta. Your family won’t know the difference, and a portion of pasta (2 oz) sports 6 grams, or 24% of the daily dose of fiber.
How do you get your daily fiber?