Where to Get Your Fiber
Plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains are great sources of dietary fiber. Things such as milk, meat, and eggs contain no fiber. The form in which you ingest a food may or may not affect the amount of its fiber content. Surprisingly, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables have just as much fiber as they do in
their natural state. But other types of processing can have an adverse effect on a food’s fiber content. Both drying and crushing, for example, destroy fiber’s ability to hold water. And any removal of seeds, hulls, or peels will also diminish fiber content.
That is why whole tomatoes have more fiber than peeled tomatoes, which have more fiber than simple tomato juice. And, as we all know, whole-wheat bread contains more fiber than plain white bread.
Fiber supplements come in any number of ways. You can buy simple bran tablets or purified cellulose. In fact, many laxativessold as stool softeners are fiber supplements.
How much fiber does a person need? There is currently no Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for fiber, but the average American probably eats about fourteen grams of dietary fiber per day. People with problems such as high cholesterol would probably find some relief if they ate a diet containing up to forty grams of dietary fiber per day. This requires a radical change in eating habits.
Not only must the intake of whole grains, fruits, vegetables,and dried beans increase dramatically, but these changes must take place gradually to prevent problems such as excess gas anddiarrhea. (Anyone with a chronic disease should talk to their doctor before making any great changes in their diet.)
Fiber Content on Food Labels
The labels on food reflect public health concerns and now include a daily reference value for specific nutrients, including fiber.
The recommended amount of fiber is twenty-five grams a day based on a two thousand–calorie diet. That would be thirty grams per day based on a twenty-five hundred–calorie diet.
Statements to the effect that something is “made with oat bran” or is “high in oat bran” suggest that the product in question has a substantial amount of oat bran in it. When a statement suggests that an item contains a particular amount of fiber, it can onlysay so if the food really does meet a definition of “high fiber” or a “good source of fiber.”
Four High-Protein Body Purifiers
Researchers have found that two types of health bacteria, Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus bulgaricus are helpful in both improving digestion and in body detoxification. This bacterium is the same as those used to culture various sour food products, including yogurt. Many individuals use these products as part of their herbal weight-loss program since they are low-fat, high in protein, and improve digestion. Four of the most popularvarieties are:
1. Soy or seed yogurt—This is a non-dairy product prepared from soy milk or a combination of seeds and acidophilus. It is generally very sour and is popular primarily with people who want to avoid milk products while receiving the
benefits of acidophilus.
⁄2 cup 0.4
⁄2 cup 1.6
⁄2 cup 1.1
⁄2 cup 4.7
Lentils, Cooked 1
⁄2 cup 3.7
⁄2 cup 0.8
⁄2 cup 1.4
Baked Potato 1
⁄2 medium 1.9
Sweet Potato 1
⁄2 medium 2.1
Tomato 1 small 1.5
Winter Squash 1
⁄2 cup 3.5
⁄2 cup 2.0
Almonds 2 Tbsp. 1.5
Peanuts 2 Tbsp. 0.8
2. Buttermilk—Many people believe the myth that buttermilk is high in butter due to its name. The truth is that buttermilk is a wonderfully healing food! It is low in fat, high in protein, and high in calcium. Its rich lactic acid
content is also healing to the intestines.
3. Low-fat, skim-milk yogurts—These have less butterfat than whole-milk yogurts (l percent to l.5 percent fat). On a
weight-management program, the difference between whole-milk and skim milk varieties is about thirty calories
per eight-ounce container of unflavored yogurt. When preserves or flavorings are added, the caloric content per
cup of plain skim-milk yogurt can increase from about l50 calories to some 250 or more.
4. Kefir—This is a cultured milk drink that virtually all liquid “yogurt drinks” have attempted to copy. Similar to
yogurt in taste and nutritional value, kefir in its original form was prepared from mare’s milk by nomads in Asia
and Russia who drank it as an alcoholic beverage.
Commercially available kefir is alcohol-free and is flavored much like yogurt with fruit preserves and sugar. Kefir is
thinner than yogurt but still thick enough to spoon out.
Most varieties made from low-fat milk have about eightyfive calories in a six-ounce serving of plain and ll5 calories
if fruited. Kefir has similar virtues as any other dairy product: high-quality protein, calcium, and many of the B
vitamins. And, like yogurt, it can be made from low-fat milk.
Note: when buying all food products seek out those that are organically grown, made from non-genetically modified ingredients, and in the case of dairy products, dairy products that are produced from hormone-free milk.