Talking Fiber with Fernando

fiberPicture courtesy of US National Library of Medicine

Fernando Mejia, the Nutrition Educator at the Southeast Texas Food Bank instructed our class today on fiber!

He gave us the:

411 on FIBER

What is fiber?

  • Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest.

Where does fiber come from?

  • Fibers are found in all plant foods including vegetables, fruits, grains, and legumes.

TWO VARIETIES OF FIBER

Soluble Fiber

  • Dissolves in water
  • Mainly found in fruits and legumes

Insoluble Fiber

  • Absorbs water, but does not dissolve
  • Mainly found in whole grains and vegetables

SOLUBLE FIBER

  • Soluble fibers dissolve in water, form gels and are easily digested by bacteria in the lower intestine.
  • Provides a feeling of fullness
  • Slows down the rate food leaves the stomach
  • May have a role in helping heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer
  • Found in legumes and fruits

INSOLUBLE FIBER

  • Insoluble fibers absorb water and swell up, resulting in a larger, softer stool that is easier and quicker to pass.
  • Provides a feeling of fullness
  • Helps with intestinal function
  • May help with colon cancer
  • Found in grains and vegetables

TIPS TO INCREASE FIBER INTAKE

  • Eat whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juices
  • Replace white rice, bread, and pasta with brown rice and whole grain products.
  • For breakfast, choose cereals that have whole grain as their first ingredient
  • Snack on raw vegetables instead of chips, crackers, or chocolate bars.
  • Substitute beans or legumes for meat two or three times per week in chili and soups.

MORE ARTICLES ON FIBER

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