Fiber Up for the New Year

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What if the New Year could bring you something that promises to better your life by:
- helping you lose weight,
- preventing cancer,
- keeping your heart healthy
- and your bowels running smoothly?
You’d probably be eager to buy the book or pop the pill. But you won’t find a best-seller on the subject. It’s not flashy, not available by pill and it is not a fad diet. But it has proven health benefits. What is it? It’s fiber!
You won’t fiber fiber in common fast and convenience foods such as bagels, pastries, cookies, cakes, pizza, fried chicken, hamburgers, deli sandwiches, French fries and meats. And that is the challenge. Chances are, many of the foods that you are eating that are easy to buy and prepare and very palatable are low in fiber.
Fiber is found only in plant foods:?fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and whole grain breads and cereals. It is a complex carbohydrate that can not be digested by the human body.
High-fiber foods are good sources of carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. They are usually lower in fat and calories than low-fiber foods. This, plus the fact that they tend to make you feel full faster, makes them an essential part of a weight control plan.
Fiber also plays a role in cancer prevention. Since a bulkier, heavier stool can pass through the colon faster, it’s thought that this may help prevent colon and rectal cancer. Of course, the lower fat content of a high fiber diet is also associated with decreased colon cancer rates.
People with diabetes may see better blood sugar control by adding fiber, especially soluble fiber, to their diet. This may decrease the need for insulin or medication.
The best thing you can do for 2008 is to look at what you eat for each meal.
• Breakfast: switch to whole grain cereal and fruit
• Lunch: Add fruit, whole grains and more veggies. Think about a salad each day; stick to whole grain bread or rice; start packing better items.
• Dinner: Choose from our foods below and start cooking at home more often. If you plan for beans and lentils once or twice a week and include vegetables and salads at each meal you will improve your diet!

Best Choices Each Day for More Fiber

  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Whole grain cereal
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables

 

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