- I have been a teacher of fitness and health for thirty years. In 1989 I was certified for personal training with the National Acadamy of Sports Medicine. I had a gym in Santa Barbara for eight years. Co-owned and created a spinning bike company which manufactured bikes for five years. Also I have worked with nutrition companies for twenty years. Along with many wonderful non famous people I have trained many celebrities, and members of the Royal Family. My own athletic past consists of long distance running, long distance cycling, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, rollerblading, hiking, sand running, track work, and weight training. I have authored two fitness columns in local papers, and have been writing this blog since January 2010.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Why Do We Need Fiber?
Fiber is essential for a healthy body. It helps our body's digestive system to run smoothly. Eating fiber will promote health and will reduce your risk for certain diseases.
There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and can help lower the bad cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels. Pears, apples, oat bran, legumes, and barley are some examples of soluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and will absorb water in your intestinal track like a sponge. It can absorb fifteen times its weight in water. It is also referred to as roughage. Insoluble fiber can help you to feel full longer and will speed up the digestion of your food to help avoid constipation. Fruits, vegetables, and whole wheat foods, are some examples of Insoluble fiber.
Fiber helps to prevent constipation, hemorrhoids, and diverticulitis. There are also studies that show fiber linked to the prevention of some cancers like colon and breast cancer. Because fiber helps to lower cholesterol, it is a prevention for heart disease. When fiber works to regulate blood sugar, it is known to help prevent diabetes.
The American Dietetic Association recommends that we have between 20 and 35 grams of fiber a day. The average American gets only 5 to 10 grams a day.
Once again I must bring up the importance of eating 7 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Not only will you get the benefit of the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and water content, but you get the huge benefit of fiber! Fruits and vegetables are full of good things for your body to keep you healthy.
One apple has about 4 grams of fiber. One piece of whole wheat bread has approximately 1 to 2 grams of fiber. A serving of Raisin Bran cereal has about 7 grams of fiber. Fruits and vegetables have an average of 4 to 5 grams per serving. As you can see, you need to eat consciously to make sure you are getting your 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day.
When you are choosing what foods you will eat today, make sure they are "fiber full" to keep you on track for being healthy and feeling great!