5 Reasons to Get Your Fiber

By: Porter Regional Hospital Last Updated: April 25, 2011

From the 2011 Spring Healthy Woman publication provided by Porter Health System

The more whole vegetables, whole fruit and whole grains you eat, the better,” said Omer Ansari, MD, with Westchester Medical Group. “In fact, a new study from the National Cancer Institute confirmed that people with the highest daily fiber intake – 30 grams for men and 25 grams for women -- have a 22 percent lower risk of dying from any cause,” he said.

Dr. Ansari shares 5 key reasons to increase your fiber intake:

1. Fiber Fills You Up

Fiber is a bulking agent that stays in the stomach longer, providing a greater sense of satisfaction between meals. For instance, a slice of 100 percent whole grain bread is more filling than two slices of white bread. Plus, because fiber needs to be chewed thoroughly, it slows down the eating process, which reduces overeating. Consider making more fiber-full choices, such as eating an orange rather than your morning glass of orange juice.

2. Fiber Helps Stabilize Energy and Sugar Levels

Soluble fiber delays the absorption of sugars and starch by dragging partly digested food through the intestine. This keeps your blood sugar, insulin and energy levels more stable throughout the day. Soluble fiber is the type of plant material that dissolves in water, forming a gel-like substance. Good sources include dried beans and peas, oat bran, rice bran, barley, and fruit pectin (the substance used to thicken jams and jellies.)

3. Fiber Can Reduce Your Risk of Disease

Soluble fiber helps reduce blood cholesterol and glucose levels, which in turn reduces the risk of diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease – including high blood pressure and heart attack, obesity, and even certain cancers.

4. Fiber Promotes Weight Loss and Maintenance

Fiber reduces the absorption of fats and also helps us feel fuller longer. Filling up on high-fiber foods means you’ll have less room for high-fat and highly caloric low-fiber foods. Some researchers have calculated that if Americans doubled their intake for fiber, they could cut 100 calories from their daily diet — which could shave off 10 pounds of yearly weight gain.

5. Fiber Helps Maintain Regularity

Fiber increases the movement of food through the digestive system. While it increases bulk (weight and size), it is also a natural stool softener, helping to reduce constipation and cramping associated with “sluggish bowel” syndrome while it promotes colon health.

Colon Health Event: Wednesday, April 28, 2011: Noon

Join Surgeon Adam Conn, MD, for this free event, as he discusses important information related to your colon. Proper colon health CAN make a difference in staying healthy!

Pre-registration required by calling 1.800.541.1861. This event will be held at Porter's Education and Rehab Campus, located at 1401 Calumet Ave in Valparaiso.

Visit the Porter Health System website
Valparaiso Campus
814 LaPorte Avenue
Valparaiso, IN 46383
Phone: 219-263-4600