Getting benefits from fiber - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Getting benefits from fiber

Posted: Updated:
BIRMINGHAM - AL -

When you think fiber, it is possible you associate it with digestive health, but that's not the only benefit of fiber.  It also has a significant impact on heart health.  Nurse practitioner Jody Gilchrist says dietary fiber, found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans has been shown in research to help lower cholesterol.

Dietary fiber is a carbohydrate that comes from plants and is classified as soluble or insoluble. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the diet, helps prevent constipation and is the fiber most responsible for keeping your digestive tract healthy. Soluble fiber acts like a sponge, Gilchrist said. It makes you feel full quickly, which helps control how much you eat, and therefore weigh. An added benefit of soluble fiber is that research has shown it can help lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" by interfering with how the body absorbs cholesterol from foods.

Foods high in insoluble fiber include whole-wheat breads, most whole grains, cabbage, beets, carrots, brussels sprouts, turnips, cauliflower and apple (skin). Foods high in soluble fiber include oat bran, oatmeal, beans, peas, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, strawberries and apples (pulp).

"Most nutrition experts say that a person needs at least 25 grams of fiber a day as part of a balanced diet," Gilchrist said. "The American Heart Association recommends that a good rule of thumb is 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed, and at least 10 grams should come from soluble fiber."

Gilchrist adds that when you're buying groceries, be sure to read nutrition fact labels carefully. Just because something has fiber in it does not necessarily mean it is good for you. There are many pre-packaged convenience items that contain oat or wheat bran - including muffins and waffles - that actually contain very little bran and can have high levels of sodium, sugar or fat.

"If you are buying something packaged and not a raw food, such as fruits or vegetables, look for the American Heart Association Whole Grain heart-check mark on labels," Gilchrist said. "It's a good way to make sure what you are getting is good for your heart."

You can also add fiber supplements such as Benefiber or Metamucil to coffee, yogurt, cereal, soups or other foods. Just be careful to increase the amount of fiber intake slowly and drink plenty of water. If you have gas, try over-the-counter simethicone, increasing your water intake or more gradually increasing your fiber intake.

  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Arrest made in large level extortion scheme

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:45 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:45:16 GMT
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
    "Everett Leon Stout, 72 and Miriam Clair Schultz, 67 are charged with 14 counts of extortion.More >>
  • Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Gadsden police recover more than 300 stolen items; felony charges against suspected fence

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:22 PM EDT2014-08-29 03:22:34 GMT
    Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)Joe Walker Pearl (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
    Police in Gadsden are trying to return hundreds of stolen items to their rightful owners. Captain Paul Cody said officers bust a large fencing operation this week. Joe Pearl, 75, is the suspect in the case. It took a long time to sort through and document a very wide range of stolen property. "We've collected a lot of stuff," Cody said. "Toilet paper. We have non-firearms related weapons, we have karaoke machines, musical instruments, car stereos, underwear."More >>
  • Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Gadsden police arrest suspect in deadly stabbing case

    Thursday, August 28 2014 11:37 AM EDT2014-08-28 15:37:31 GMT
    William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)William D'Angelo McKinney (Photo: Etowah County Sheriff's Office)
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
    Investigators in Gadsden said a man strangled his ex-girlfriend Tuesday evening before stabbing another man to death. Officers arrested 30-year-old William D'Angelo McKinney Wednesday night. He faces charges for murder and domestic violence with strangulation. Police said McKinney went to his ex-girlfriend's home in the Mill Village area and let himself in. Investigators said she asked him to leave, but he shoved her and then put her in a headlock until she blacked out.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...