Everyone’s talking about fiber these days. TV ads sell fiber products you can drink and cereals you can eat. What’s so great about fiber? For one thing it satisfies the appetite. High-fiber foods must be chewed, and this allows more interaction with your taste buds so you have more satisfaction.
Because your stomach has to turn fibrous foods into liquids, it takes your stomach a long time to produce all the digestive juices, hormones, and enzymes. As a result, your stomach feels full longer and sends out signals that say “Don’t send more. I’m not through digesting what you have eaten.”
You need 25 grams of fiber a day. You can add more fiber to your diet by eating more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Then, you will feel satisfied on fewer calories and less hungry fro fattening foods. Once you learn how to eat the natural foods that God created, you will begin to enjoy a new sense of well-being and satisfaction in your life.
Do you know that fiber has two categories? Fiber falls into two basic categories: soluble and insoluble. Both are needed for good health and weight loss. Soluble fiber is the kind that dissolves in water. Oat bran is the most famous form of soluble fiber, but this fiber is also found in beans, barley, and some fruits and vegetables like squash, apples, citrus fruits, cauliflower, cabbage, strawberries, and potatoes.
Soluble fiber slows the digestion of foods, so you’re not hungry so soon. In large amounts it can lower cholesterol and keep blood-sugar level steady. This is very important for dieters. On a low-fiber diet, your metabolism runs up peaks and down valleys, causing sudden energy losses and jittery feelings that can trigger going on a binge.
Insoluble fiber is the type found in whole-wheat flour and bran, whole grains, vegetables, and in many fruits like apples and pears. It’s a bulking agent, so it prevents constipation.
Go Easy with Fiber
Don’t make the mistake of increasing your fiber too rapidly. Instead, start adding foods like apples, beans, and whole-grains to your diet. Increase your fiber gradually until you are eating five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and six daily servings of grains (meaning whole-grains, cereals, beans, cooked whole grains, breads, and pasta). The highest fiber-rich foods are legumes (beans and peas) and fruits like apples, prunes, raspberries, and pears.
People who are losing weight need to make a special effort to select the highest-fiber foods. Lettuce is 90 percent water. That’s why you’re usually hungry soon after eating a salad. A potato, however, will really fill you up.
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