Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

A Background to Dietary Fiber


Fiber is the part of the plant that is resistant to hydrolysis (A chemical decomposition in which a substance is split into simpler compounds by the addition or the taking up of the elements of water) by human digestive enzymes and, with the exception of lignin, fibers are complex carbohydrates. These include pectin, gums, mucilages, hemicellulose, polysaccharides cellulose, and nonpolysaccharide lignins. Fibers are water-soluble except cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, all of which form part of cell walls. Soluble fibers are sticky and combine with water to form gel-like substances. Pectin is a water-soluble fiber found in soft fruits and vegetables. Gums that are common food additives are also water-soluble, found in stems and seeds of some tropical plants. In general, fruits are higher in pectin and vegetables are higher in cellulose. Although cellulose and hemicellulose are not hydrolyzed, intestinal bacterial can digest some fiber to produce lipid fragments known as short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids are absorbed in the colon and yield energy when metabolized.

Water Insoluble fibers pass through the gastrointestinal track unchanged, absorbing up to 15 times their weight, important since they provide the digestive tract with 'bulk' that helps facilitate food through the intestines to be evacuated as solid waste; hence, fiber often is called "nature's natural laxative". Cellulose's ability to absorb water produces softer stools and regular bowel movements. Also, insoluble fiber may prevent colon and rectal cancer and help to control diverticulosis (A sac or pouch in the walls of a canal or organ [e.g., GI tract] that becomes inflamed and causes pain and stagnation of feces. Source: The American Dietetic Association's Complete Food & Nutrition Guide, p. 145). Water-soluble fiber, as found in beans, fruit, and oat bran lowers cholesterol by binding to the cholesterol found in liver bile, to help control diabetes.

Overall, dietary fiber does not provide much nourishment to the human diet because of the inability to break down these carb sources for energy, yet reduces available kcalories by providing a sense of satiety and by absorbing some nutrients including fat. However, fiber also absorbs and eliminates essential fatty acids, food substances that are essential for good health and energy metabolism.

Also, dietary fiber may be a detoxifier since it binds with some toxic substances before elimination. But a diet extremely high in fiber is not a good idea since it impairs calcium, iron, and zinc absorption in the intestine.

Increasing fiber should be a gradual process since the majority of fiber products may cause unpleasant bloating, cramps, gas, and other symptoms - especially if they are eaten in large amounts at once. It is best to add one high fiber food at each eating session to judge whether the food causes symptoms or not. For instance, some people who have problems with brown rice may not have problems with apples, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, or other sources of similar fiber.

Many nutrition authorities estimate that 20-35 grams of fiber daily is a desirable intake for the average individual. Note that the amount of nutrients can vary in wheat products since the refining of grains remove part of the seed (e.g., bran, endosperm, and germ). Here are some fiber-rich sources:

1 ounce dry-roasted peanuts: 2.2 g
1/2 cup cooked broccoli: 2.2 g
1 potato with skin: 2.5 g
1 slice whole wheat bread: 2.8 g
1 cup carrots: 3.0 g
1/2 large grapefruit: 3.1 g
1 apple: 3.5 g
1 cup cooked long-grain brown rice: 3.3 g
1 cup cooked instant oatmeal: 3.5 g
3 cups air-popped popcorn: 3.7 g
1 pear: 4.3 g
_ cup raisins: 4.5 g
1 cup of whole wheat spaghetti cooked: 5 g
1 cup baked beans: 7.0 g
_ cup of chickpeas: 7 g
1 cup boiled lentils: 7.9 g
1 serving bran cereal: 11 g

Here are different sources of fiber and their uses in the body:

CELLULOSE: Fruit legumes, nuts, oat bran, seeds, whole grains, and vegetables. Adds bulk to stool to reduce constipation; oat bran lowers cholesterol; may help control blood sugar; helps weight loss by displacing kcalories.

GUMS: Algae, barley, fruits, legumes, oats, seaweed, seeds, and vegetables. Adds bulk to stool to reduce constipation; may lower blood cholesterol; helps control blood sugar; helps weight loss by displacing kcalories.

HEMICELLULOSE: Fruits, legumes, nuts, oat bran, seeds, whole grains, and vegetables. Adds bulk to stool to reduce constipation; oat bran lowers cholesterol; may help control blood sugar; helps weight loss by displacing kcalories.

LIGNINS: Woody parts of bran, fruit skins, nuts, seeds, whole grains and vegetables. Adds bulk to stool to reduce constipation; may lower blood cholesterol; may help control blood sugar; helps weight loss by displacing kcalories.

MUCILAGES: Plant seeds and secretions. Adds bulk to stool to reduce constipation; may lower blood cholesterol; helps control blood sugar; helps weight loss by displacing kcalories.

PECTINS: Algae, barley, fruits, legumes, oats, seaweed, seeds, and vegetables. Adds bulk to stool to reduce constipation; may lower blood cholesterol; helps control blood sugar; helps weight loss by displacing kcalories.

You may publish this article in your newsletter, on your web site, or other publications, so long as the article's content is not altered and the resource box is included. Add byline and active link. Notification of the use of this article is appreciated, but not required.

Brian D. Johnston is the Director of Education and President of the I.A.R.T. fitness certification and education institute. He has written over 12 books and is a contributing author to the Merck Medical Manual. An international lecturer, Mr. Johnston wears many hats in the fitness and health industries, and can be reached at info@ExerciseCertification.com.

Visit his site at http://www.ExerciseCertification.com for more free articles.


MORE RESOURCES:

UN News Centre

Pope Francis urges concrete action in global nutrition challenge at UN ...
UN News Centre
20 November 2014 – Pope Francis today urged leaders attending a United Nations Food and Agriculture (FAO) nutrition conference in Rome to view food and nutrition and the environment as global public issues at a time when nations are more tightly linked ...
United Nations, WHO, politicians commit to fight poor nutritionReuters
Live from the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (#ICN2) in Rome: Day 3NutraIngredients.com
Nations Meet In Rome For Global Nutrition ConferenceThe Inquisitr

all 470 news articles »


Spirulina: Nutrition Facts & Health Benefits
Live Science
Spirulina is a microalgae that has been consumed for centuries due to its high nutritional value and supposed health benefits. Today, popular lifestyle personalities endorse Spirulina as a secret, potent "superfood," a "miracle from the sea ...



Enid News & Eagle

Evaluate winter nutrition for cow herds
Enid News & Eagle
Compare the amount of nutrients in the primary forage source to the nutritional requirements the cow herd. If the quality of hay or forage is less than the daily nutritional requirement of the animal, supplement will needed. • Evaluate and compare ...

and more »


Under-Nutrition Undermines Africa's Growth - Report
AllAfrica.com
The 2014 Global Nutrition Report was launched on Thursday at the Second International Conference on Nutrition in Rome. The report, which has been variously described by experts as an important milestone, is the first in a series of annual reports to ...



Reuters

Fresenius bids for Danone's medical nutrition arm: WSJ
Reuters
UL have made an offer for the medical nutrition arm of Danone (DANO.PA), The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing sources close to the matter. The newspaper reported that analysts had valued the Danone medical nutrition branch between ...
Fresenius tightlipped on joint bid for Danone medical nutrition businessDairyReporter.com
Danone gets bid for medical-nutrition businessMarketWatch
Danone receives bid for medical nutrition unitFood Dive

all 21 news articles »


10 Tips For Healthier Grocery Shopping, From The Nutrition Experts Who Know ...
Huffington Post
Between the trendy buzzwords on packaging, the tempting low prices on processed food and the limited amount of time you'd like to spend reading nutrition labels, even the most knowledgable shoppers can end up making mistakes in his or her cart. But ...

and more »


Fox News

Most Schools Still Don't Meet Federal Nutrition Standards
TIME
When schools aren't forced to provide healthy food, they usually don't, according to a new study published in JAMA Pediatrics. Only a small number of schools offered healthy food options before the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) federally ...
Few schools adhered to USDA nutrition standards before 2013Fox News
Few students attend schools that meet nutrition standardsUniversity of Michigan News
Small fraction of students attended schools with USDA nutrition componentsMedical Xpress

all 15 news articles »


UN News Centre

UN launches 'pocketbook' on nutrition ahead of major conference in Rome
UN News Centre
17 November 2014 – The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has today published a comprehensive pocketbook of nutrition-related data covering all regions of the world ahead of the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) ...



Dr. Keith Roach: Nutrition has a place in preventing disease
Herald & Review
At the website www.nutritionfacts.org, one can find the results of the latest in peer-reviewed nutrition and health research in terms that are easy to understand. Unlike so many sites trying to sell you a miracle cure, this is a non-commercial public ...

and more »


Kent Nutrition Group announces new hires
Muscatine Journal
Mike Shield has joined the Marketing Services team at Kent Nutrition Group as creative designer. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Marycrest College in Davenport. Previously, Mike has worked at Palmer College of Chiropractic, Bandag, and ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.