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Thursday, October 20, 2005
You can probably identify some high fiber foods, such as bran cereals and whole grain breads. But not all foods billed as "high Fiber" really have much fiber; read the labels on packaged foods to see the number of grams of fiber they contain. You can be sure of getting fiber if you eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grain foods such as whole wheat bread, brown rice and oats each day. The amount of fiber that you should get (also known as fiber's dietary reference intake of DRI) varies with age and gender. Men fifty and under should get 38 grams per day, while woment at age should get 25 grams per day. Older men and women should aim for 30 and 21 grams per day, respectively.

Here are some ways to make sure that your diet meets the DRI for fiber:

** Eat whole grain cereal for breakfast. Oatmeals is an excellent choice. Steel-cut oats have the most fiber. If prefer cold cereal, choose products that have bran or list whole wheat, oats, barely, or another wole grain first on the list of ingredients.

** Choose whole grain breads. As with cereals, true whole grain breads list a whole grain first in the ingredients. Whole grain sliced bread, pita, and rolls are equally good.

** Skip the French fries and baked potaoes. Instead of white potaties, eat sweet potatoes or yams. Instead of white rice, eat brown rice or another intact grain as a side dish. Good choices are kasha, bulgur, millet, quinoa and barley.

** How much fiber is in in the food? Fiber is the indigestible part of grains, vegetables and fruits. Its effect is to delay the time it takes for the food to be digested, and some kinds of fiber can lower cholesterol. Whole grain foods have more fiber than refined foods.

** How much fat is in a meal or snack? Fecase fat take longer to digest than carbohydrates, the more fat a meal or snack has, the more slowly it will be digested and, possibly, the less detrimental on effect it will have on your blood sugar. Just make sure that the fat is one of the good fats. Pasta with olive ole and reoasted vegetables is far healthier than a burger or fries. A handful of cashews or other nuts is a better sanck than a cookie made with butter or trans fats.

** Cook with whole wheat flour. You can make pancakes, muffins and home baked goods healthier if you mix whole wheat flour with white flour. Because whole wheat flour is heavier than white flour, a straight substitute won't work for every recipe. Try starting with a ratio of one part whole wheat to three parts white to see if you like the results. If you think the dish could stand a heavier, grainer texture, try increasing the share of whole wheat flour. You may need to increase the amount of liquid at the same time.

** Take fiber supplements. Fiber can also be taken in the form of supplements, which provide the same benefits as fiber in foods. Take them with plenty of water to get the full benefits. Fiber's sterling reputation was slightly tarnished by findings that it does'nt prevent colon polyps, precursors of colon cancer. Also, LDL cholesterol only slightly. But it is still considered one fo the most improtant health attributes of foods. Beware that increasing your fiber intake can cause flatulence, particularly if you go straight from eating little fiber to eating a lot. Slowly increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can help.

(abstracted from the book: Lowering Your Cholesterol by the Harvard Medical School Guide to Lowering Your Cholesterol by: Mason W. Freedman, MD, Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School sith Christine Junge. Published by McGraw Hill)
posted by infraternam meam @ 10:43 AM  
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Name: infraternam meam
Home: Chicago, United States
About Me: I am now at the prime of my life and have been married for the past 25 years. Sickly at times, but wants to see the elixir vita, so that I will be able to see my grandchildren from my two boys.
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