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What’s so great about fiber?

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in fruits, vegetables, and grains.  Why is fiber such a big deal?  Not only do fibrous foods contain many vitamins and minerals, fiber also packs health benefits including:
  • Delaying sugar into the blood stream – slows how quickly sugar goes into your bloodstream and therefore may reduce peaks of blood sugar levels
  • Reducing body weight – helps to make you feel full longer and may displace “empty calorie” foods
  • Reducing blood cholesterol – if you have heart problems or high cholesterol, eating high fiber foods may help to reduce your blood cholesterol levels
  • Alleviating constipation – helps to improve regularity.
How much fiber should I have each day?

The American Dietetic Association recommends 20-35 grams of fiber per day.  The average American only gets 12 grams of fiber each day.  Focusing on vegetables, fruits and whole grains will be a great start to getting your fill of fiber.

A word of caution… start slow when adding fiber to your diet.  Add a few grams of fiber so your body can adjust to additional fibrous foods.  Too much fiber at once can lead to bloating, gas, and diarrhea.  Drink extra water to help soften fiber.

According to the American Diabetes Association, if a food contains 5 or more grams of fiber, you can subtract 1/2 of the grams of fiber from the total carbohydrate amount.   For example, if you were eating 1/2 cup of cooked beans that contains 15 grams of total carbohydrate and 6 grams of fiber, you could subtract 3 grams of fiber (1/2 the grams of fiber) from 15 grams of total carbohydrate and know that you are digesting only 12 total grams of carbohydrates.

How can I start increasing my fiber?

So, now that you are motivated to increase your fiber intake, focus on plant foods – fiber is only found in plants.  Start slow and strive for at least 20 grams of fiber a day.  GlucoMenu® includes at least 20 grams of fiber each day.  Bulk up the fiber in your diet and reap the benefits!

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