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.

  • Central Alabama NewsMore>>

  • More guilty pleas expected in multi-state dog fighting probe

    More guilty pleas expected in multi-state dog fighting probe

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:08 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:08:05 GMT
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Seven of the 14 people arrested in a multi-state dog fighting investigation have filed court papers saying they want to plead guilty. Jennifer McDonald of Fairburn, Ga.; Michael Martin of Auburn, Ala.; and Ricky Van Le of Biloxi, Miss., are the latest to file papers in federal court in Montgomery. Four others previously sent paperwork saying that they want to change their pleas to guilty. They are Lawrence Watford of Adel, Ga.; William Oneil Edwards of Elba, Ala.; DeMo...More >>
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Seven of the 14 people arrested in a multi-state dog fighting investigation have filed court papers saying they want to plead guilty. Jennifer McDonald of Fairburn, Ga.; Michael Martin of Auburn, Ala.; and Ricky Van Le of Biloxi, Miss., are the latest to file papers in federal court in Montgomery. Four others previously sent paperwork saying that they want to change their pleas to guilty. They are Lawrence Watford of Adel, Ga.; William Oneil Edwards of Elba, Ala.; DeMo...More >>
  • Part of new gun bill in Georgia would allow certain school employees to bring guns to school

    Part of new gun bill in Georgia would allow certain school employees to bring guns to school

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:59 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:59:47 GMT
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation that will change the states gun laws.Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation that will change the states gun laws.
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, on Monday, will sign legislation giving more freedom to those residents with licenses to carry weapons. House Bill 60 makes several changes to Georgia’s current law. The bill will allow people with a license to carry the ability to bring their gun into a bar without restrictions. It will allow people to bring their weapons into some government buildings that don’t have particular types of security. It will also give churches and worships centers the right to dec...More >>
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, on Monday, will sign legislation giving more freedom to those residents with licenses to carry weapons. House Bill 60 makes several changes to Georgia’s current law. The bill will allow people with a license to carry the ability to bring their gun into a bar without restrictions. It will allow people to bring their weapons into some government buildings that don’t have particular types of security. It will also give churches and worships centers the right to dec...More >>
  • Parents remember daughter who died in ATV accident

    Parents remember daughter who died in ATV accident

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:54:01 GMT
    Gracie Abbott's parents never imagined that an Easter Sunday gathering would end the way it did. They tell me their daughter rode ATVs all time. And when they got the call that she was had been in an accident they were sure it wasn't that serious. But it was serious. "I talked to her. I told her that we were proud of her. I held her," said Sharon Abbott.Abbott says she's almost sure her daughter Gracie was gone at that point. She says Gracie's eyes were already fixated and dilated by the time...More >>
    Gracie Abbott's parents never imagined that an Easter Sunday gathering would end the way it did. They tell me their daughter rode ATVs all time. And when they got the call that she was had been in an accident they were sure it wasn't that serious. But it was serious. "I talked to her. I told her that we were proud of her. I held her," said Sharon Abbott.Abbott says she's almost sure her daughter Gracie was gone at that point. She says Gracie's eyes were already fixated and dilated by the time...More >>
  • Birmingham Area NewsMore>>

  • Birmingham Public Library reducing hours due to AC damage caused by extreme cold earlier this year

    Birmingham Public Library reducing hours due to AC damage caused by extreme cold earlier this year

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:50:59 GMT
    The mercury is rising, but the air conditioner at the main Birmingham Public Library is broken. That led the library to reduce hours for at least the next six to eight weeks. The needed repairs are the result of a January cold snap that ruptured the air conditioner coil in the library's main air handler. Parts have been ordered, and repairs will be scheduled once the parts arrive. Starting Monday, April 28, the downtown location at 2100 Park Place will open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m., Mond...More >>
    The mercury is rising, but the air conditioner at the main Birmingham Public Library is broken. That led the library to reduce hours for at least the next six to eight weeks. The needed repairs are the result of a January cold snap that ruptured the air conditioner coil in the library's main air handler. Parts have been ordered, and repairs will be scheduled once the parts arrive. Starting Monday, April 28, the downtown location at 2100 Park Place will open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m., Mond...More >>
  • Major change to Alabama G.I. Dependents’ Scholarship program

    Major change to Alabama G.I. Dependents’ Scholarship program

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:10 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:10:24 GMT
    Dependents who were previously denied education benefits based solely on the veterans' peace-time service dates should reapply.More >>
    Dependents who were previously denied education benefits based solely on the veterans' peace-time service dates should reapply.More >>
  • ABC 33/40 earns 6 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for 2014

    ABC 33/40 earns 6 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for 2014

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 9:28 PM EDT2014-04-23 01:28:29 GMT
    ABC 33/40 (WBMA) won six 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including one for Overall Excellence. (abc3340.com)ABC 33/40 (WBMA) won six 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including one for Overall Excellence. (abc3340.com)
    The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced Tuesday the winners of the 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and ABC 33/40 earned six awards, including one for Overall Excellence in Large Market Television.More >>
    The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announced Tuesday the winners of the 2014 regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, and ABC 33/40 earned six awards, including one for Overall Excellence in Large Market Television.More >>
  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Search for Riverside man in Logan Martin Lake enters day 3

    Search for Riverside man in Logan Martin Lake enters day 3

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:31 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:31:06 GMT
    Various law enforcement agencies are assisting in the search for a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake. (abc3340.com)Various law enforcement agencies are assisting in the search for a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake. (abc3340.com)
    The search continues for a Riverside man who fell from a fishing boat in Logan Martin Lake on Sunday.More >>
    The search continues for a Riverside man who fell from a fishing boat in Logan Martin Lake on Sunday.
    More >>
  • Officer-involved shooting in Anniston leaves 53-year-old man dead

    Officer-involved shooting in Anniston leaves 53-year-old man dead

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 7:24 PM EDT2014-04-22 23:24:15 GMT
    ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Calhoun County officials say Anniston police fatally shot a man who was accused of pointing a gun at them. According to County Coroner Shane Adrian, 53-year-old Frank Charles Johnston was pronounced dead after being shot outside his house in the Blue Mountain area Tuesday morning. Adrian says neighbors told investigators that Johnston was standing in the street with a gun and that he pointed the weapon at responding officers. Adrian says Johnston's body is being taken to...More >>
    ANNISTON, Ala. (AP) - Calhoun County officials say Anniston police fatally shot a man who was accused of pointing a gun at them. According to County Coroner Shane Adrian, 53-year-old Frank Charles Johnston was pronounced dead after being shot outside his house in the Blue Mountain area Tuesday morning. Adrian says neighbors told investigators that Johnston was standing in the street with a gun and that he pointed the weapon at responding officers. Adrian says Johnston's body is being taken to...More >>
  • Hunting accident under investigation in Etowah County

    Hunting accident under investigation in Etowah County

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 12:26 PM EDT2014-04-22 16:26:24 GMT
    The Etowah County sheriff's office and Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are investigating a hunting accident that took place Tuesday morning.More >>
    The Etowah County sheriff's office and Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources are investigating a hunting accident that took place Tuesday morning.
    More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
  • Latest StoriesMore>>

  • Tuscaloosa police make arrest in kidnapping and robbery

    Tuscaloosa police make arrest in kidnapping and robbery

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:11 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:11:43 GMT
    Tuscaloosa police arrest one man and they are still searching for another.More >>
    Tuscaloosa police arrest one man and they are still searching for another.More >>
  • More guilty pleas expected in multi-state dog fighting probe

    More guilty pleas expected in multi-state dog fighting probe

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:08 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:08:05 GMT
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Seven of the 14 people arrested in a multi-state dog fighting investigation have filed court papers saying they want to plead guilty. Jennifer McDonald of Fairburn, Ga.; Michael Martin of Auburn, Ala.; and Ricky Van Le of Biloxi, Miss., are the latest to file papers in federal court in Montgomery. Four others previously sent paperwork saying that they want to change their pleas to guilty. They are Lawrence Watford of Adel, Ga.; William Oneil Edwards of Elba, Ala.; DeMo...More >>
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Seven of the 14 people arrested in a multi-state dog fighting investigation have filed court papers saying they want to plead guilty. Jennifer McDonald of Fairburn, Ga.; Michael Martin of Auburn, Ala.; and Ricky Van Le of Biloxi, Miss., are the latest to file papers in federal court in Montgomery. Four others previously sent paperwork saying that they want to change their pleas to guilty. They are Lawrence Watford of Adel, Ga.; William Oneil Edwards of Elba, Ala.; DeMo...More >>
  • National Take-Back Day scheduled for Saturday

    National Take-Back Day scheduled for Saturday

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:06 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:06:30 GMT
    Do you have any unused medication you would like to discard? You will have an opportunity on Saturday, April 26, 2014.More >>
    Do you have any unused medication you would like to discard? You will have an opportunity on Saturday, April 26, 2014.
    More >>
  • Birmingham Public Library reducing hours due to AC damage caused by extreme cold earlier this year

    Birmingham Public Library reducing hours due to AC damage caused by extreme cold earlier this year

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:50 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:50:59 GMT
    The mercury is rising, but the air conditioner at the main Birmingham Public Library is broken. That led the library to reduce hours for at least the next six to eight weeks. The needed repairs are the result of a January cold snap that ruptured the air conditioner coil in the library's main air handler. Parts have been ordered, and repairs will be scheduled once the parts arrive. Starting Monday, April 28, the downtown location at 2100 Park Place will open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m., Mond...More >>
    The mercury is rising, but the air conditioner at the main Birmingham Public Library is broken. That led the library to reduce hours for at least the next six to eight weeks. The needed repairs are the result of a January cold snap that ruptured the air conditioner coil in the library's main air handler. Parts have been ordered, and repairs will be scheduled once the parts arrive. Starting Monday, April 28, the downtown location at 2100 Park Place will open at 8 a.m. and close at 5 p.m., Mond...More >>
  • Search for Riverside man in Logan Martin Lake enters day 3

    Search for Riverside man in Logan Martin Lake enters day 3

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:31 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:31:06 GMT
    Various law enforcement agencies are assisting in the search for a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake. (abc3340.com)Various law enforcement agencies are assisting in the search for a Riverside man who went missing in Logan Martin Lake. (abc3340.com)
    The search continues for a Riverside man who fell from a fishing boat in Logan Martin Lake on Sunday.More >>
    The search continues for a Riverside man who fell from a fishing boat in Logan Martin Lake on Sunday.
    More >>
  • Alabama State Bar to Host Free Legal Clinic in Tuscaloosa

    Alabama State Bar to Host Free Legal Clinic in Tuscaloosa

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:17 AM EDT2014-04-23 14:17:09 GMT
    The Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, working in cooperation with the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association and the University of Alabama School of Law, will host a free legal clinic for low-income residents of Tuscaloosa County. The clinic is open to the more than 40,000 low-income residents of Tuscaloosa County coping civil legal challenges. The clinic's lawyers are experienced in various areas of the law and will be available to answer questions in the areas of divorce/custody/visit...More >>
    The Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, working in cooperation with the Tuscaloosa County Bar Association and the University of Alabama School of Law, will host a free legal clinic for low-income residents of Tuscaloosa County. The clinic is open to the more than 40,000 low-income residents of Tuscaloosa County coping civil legal challenges. The clinic's lawyers are experienced in various areas of the law and will be available to answer questions in the areas of divorce/custody/visit...More >>
  • Major change to Alabama G.I. Dependents’ Scholarship program

    Major change to Alabama G.I. Dependents’ Scholarship program

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:10 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:10:24 GMT
    Dependents who were previously denied education benefits based solely on the veterans' peace-time service dates should reapply.More >>
    Dependents who were previously denied education benefits based solely on the veterans' peace-time service dates should reapply.More >>
  • Part of new gun bill in Georgia would allow certain school employees to bring guns to school

    Part of new gun bill in Georgia would allow certain school employees to bring guns to school

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:59 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:59:47 GMT
    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation that will change the states gun laws.Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is set to sign legislation that will change the states gun laws.
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, on Monday, will sign legislation giving more freedom to those residents with licenses to carry weapons. House Bill 60 makes several changes to Georgia’s current law. The bill will allow people with a license to carry the ability to bring their gun into a bar without restrictions. It will allow people to bring their weapons into some government buildings that don’t have particular types of security. It will also give churches and worships centers the right to dec...More >>
    Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, on Monday, will sign legislation giving more freedom to those residents with licenses to carry weapons. House Bill 60 makes several changes to Georgia’s current law. The bill will allow people with a license to carry the ability to bring their gun into a bar without restrictions. It will allow people to bring their weapons into some government buildings that don’t have particular types of security. It will also give churches and worships centers the right to dec...More >>