Friday, April 5, 2013

Did you Get your Fiber Today?

I have everyday healthy eating/fitness habits that keep me on track.  You probably know some of the basics:  drink plenty of water!  get plenty of movement (exercise)!  eat within target calorie range... the list goes on.

 One of my most important habits is one that I think is overlooked by lots of people.  It has to do with FIBER intake.

Can I let you in on a little secret? ...



OK, OK!  I guess that really isn't such a secret!

One strategy that I discovered is that I can eat more food without gaining weight (fat) by eating more FIBER... A LOT MORE FIBER !!

According to the Institute of Medicine (IOM) the minimum daily recommended fiber intake is 38 grams for adult men and 25 grams for adult women.  They list the functions of dietary fiber as follows:
"Improves laxation, reduces risk of coronary heart disease, assists in maintaining normal blood glucose levels."
The IOM goes on to discuss whether too much fiber would be dangerous...
"Dietary fiber can have variable compositions and therefore it is difficult to link a specific source of fiber with a particular adverse effect, especially when phytate is also present in the natural fiber source. It is concluded that as part of an overall healthy diet, a high intake of dietary fiber will not produce deleterious effects in healthy individuals. While occasional adverse gastrointestinal symptoms are observed when consuming some isolated or synthetic fibers, serious chronic adverse effects have not been observed. Due to the bulky nature of fibers, excess consumption is likely to be self-limiting. Therefore, an Upper Limit (UL) was not set for individual functional fibers."
In other words, YOU CAN'T EAT TOO MUCH FIBER!  But if you are not accustomed to a high fiber diet I recommend that you make gradual daily increases to prevent possible discomfort.

I try to get at least 50 grams of fiber per day and really push for closer to 100g.

Today I ate over 71 grams of fiber.  Looking through my food diary, I found the sources of those 71 grams came from these foods...

12.00 g  Gnu Foods Cinnamon Raisin Fiber Bar

6.50 g    20 g Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
6.00 g    1 lb Fresh Strawberries

1.70 g    14 g Almonds
0.35 g    ¼ tsp cinnamon
0.14 g    2 dash allspice

1.00 g    ThinkThin Creamy Peanut Butter High Protein Bar

12.00 g  Gnu Foods Blondie Fiber Bar
13.61 g  12 oz Broccoli
00.33 g  60 g Honey Mustard Dressing


6.50 g    20 g Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
6.25 g    150 g Fresh Blueberries
3.07 g    1 Banana
2.06 g    22 g Peanut Butter
0.20 g    21 g Raw Protein Powder

I am always learning something new! 

My nutrition scorecard at FitClick was telling me my total fiber number but as I glanced through my foods I couldn't figure out where 14 of the grams was coming from.  So I looked closely at each and every food in my journal and was really surprised that the "missing" fiber came from COCOA POWDER!!  I was aware that cocoa powder was keeping my iron levels up but had not realized what an excellent source of fiber it is also!

I Perceive These Benefits of Keeping my Fiber Intake High...

helps control my food cravings
 ---probably because it is helping to stabilize my blood glucose levels

allows increase in my calorie intake
 ---probably because of the "net carb" effect  ...
[total carbs] minus [fiber] = [net carbs]
  ---and the "net calorie" effect...
[total calories] minus [fiber calories] = [net calories]  
helps me to feel full and satisfied between meals
PLUS the other obvious benefits *wink wink*

Challenge yourself...

Try keeping a diary of your daily fiber intake. 
What number do you get?  
Is it close to the minimum recommendations? 
Set a fiber intake goal and a reasonable timeline of gradual increase.
Google "high fiber foods" or "good sources of fiber"
--- here is a good link: healthaliciousness foods high in dietary fiber
What foods can you incorporate to reach your goal?

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