|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
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.
Initial Launch of the Team Up for School Nutrition Success Training Program - USDA.gov (press release) (blog)
Sugar Lovers Beware
It would be fair to assume that almost everyone on the planet loves sugar and sweet foods. Processed sugar is in many products and is a key ingredient for baking.
Crave Sweets? On the Weight & Mood Roller Coaster? Perhaps Its More Than You Think!
The sugar industry and the food manufacturers are capitalizing BIG TIME on the addictive nature of carbohydrates (sweets, breads, deserts) in the human body. Blood sugar-handling problems promote arteriosclerosis (plaque in the arteries), adult-onset diabetes, mood swings, weight problems, chronic fatigue, PMS and much more.
Health and Nutrition
The Health and Nutrition Industry has come about as peoples awareness of the damage they have done to their bodies over the years becomes more apparent, both physically and through scientific evidence. Whats more they want to do something about-now!!I know, I've been there and as a Baby Boomer we, in our millions around the globe, are doing what we can to turn our health around for the better.
LIFESTYLE WELLNESS = An Adventure of Health + Vitality!Not a strong wind, nor a surge of pressure, nor a fit of passion, nor anything, can throw you off when your body, mind and spirit are in perfect balance. -Unknown'WELLNESS'.
Fighting Burn-out: Natural Help For Stress, Fatigue and Adrenal Insufficiency
The adrenal or "stress glands" are small, triangular shaped glands located on the top of the kidneys. Their function is to prepare the body's resources to run or fight through the releasing of specific hormones.
Is Vitamin E Beneficial Or Harmful? Cutting Through The Clutter Of Different Scientific Opinions
Numerous reports have recently appeared in both the lay and medical press questioning the value of vitamin E supplementation and suggesting that there are risks associated with its use even at doses previously thought to have been "safe". What do we do with the hundreds of studies and extensive clinical research that has been published in the medical literature suggesting benefit in cardiovascular disease, alzheimers, diabetes and other degenerative diseases? A search of the National Library of Medicine yields over 25,000 citations, many funded or sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and other prestigious medical and scientific organizations.
What You Need To Know About Inflammation
Inflammation is not a disease.Inflammation is best described as a defense mechanism to limit tissue damage.
Inflammation Pain Eased with Glyconutrients
Every person on earth has experienced pain at one time or another. Likewise, everyone has also dealt with inflammation in the body, even if they weren't aware of it.
Garlic - Join Me And IŽll Show You Why Garlic Can Save Your Life
Are you worried yet about your health? Are you anxious about your heart, or about the possibility of contracting cancer? If so, you are not alone, and your concerns are quite valid. Cancer and heart disease are today's major killers, and as of now, we are yet to find a safe and effective drug, that can prevent these diseases.
Dietary Sources of Glutathione
DIETARY SOURCES OF GLUTATHIONE: Glutathione (GSH) is an antioxidant and detoxifying agent whose protective role has been demonstrated in numerous clinical studies. GSH is synthesized rapidly in the liver, kidneys, and other tissues of the body, including the gastrointestinal tract.
I am sure you have heard you have to build more muscle so you can burn more fat. I'm sure you have also heard that you have to put your body into extreme calorie deficit in order to lose weight.
Organic Food - The Benefits of Natural and Organic Produce
Having spent most of my life living off of junk food, I was pretty shocked when I started learning about what goes into the produce we consume every day from the grocery store.Most of the produce you would buy at the grocery store has been genetically modified to be more appealing to the customer.
5 Ways to Get the Best Out of Radishes
They sit left behind on relish trays. They're often by-passed ingrocery store refrigerator shelves.
Surrender To The Spell Of The Pyramid
Food in general has the distinction of being probably thefirst thing we all think about in the mornings before our feet hit the floor. The main reason for this is we cannot survive without it.
Combat High Blood Pressure and Cholesterol with Soybeans
You may have heard of the "Portfolio Diet" wherein it has been clinically accepted that increasing the intake of soy based foods can reduce levels of LDL cholesterol as much as some statin drugs.Well, now it seems that soybeans have another health-giving quality: they also reduce blood pressure.
The Dangers of Honey
Before we get to honey we have a question from one of our readers.Pam asks:What is your opinion of Splenda?Answer:Splenda is made by chlorinating sugar (sucrose).
Death, Aging, Rejuvenation (Part 1)
I would like to raise a question: Is Rejuvenation possible and how to approach it? This is just my own opinion about possible procedures. I used certain techniques based on a theory.
Sugar Consumption Itself Has Become a Disease
Looking into statistics, we can see the average American consumes an astounding 2-3 pounds of sugar each week. This might surprise you if not considering that highly refined sugars in the forms of sucrose (table sugar), dextrose (corn sugar), and high-fructose corn syrup are being processed into so many foods such as bread, breakfast cereal, mayonnaise, peanut butter, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and a plethora of microwave meals.
Aging Gracefully with the Aid of Various Nutrients
During the past thirty years there has been a steadily growing amount of scientific evidence linking vitamins and minerals to having a direct effect in protecting one's self from aging. Apart from the usual health benefits that we can receive from having adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in our body, it's also a highly appealing note to include that being healthy inside will actually reflect on how we look like on the outside.
Saturated Fat Diet Piles on Pounds Around Organs
Having a large amount of such "visceral fat" is associated with increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes, said Dr. Kerry Stewart, an associate professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.