The Role of Fiber in Your Family’s Diet

By | December 4, 2018
The Role of Fiber in Your Family’s Diet

Do you pay attention to how much fiber your family is consuming? This is an oft overlooked nutrient with people tending to focus more on vitamins and minerals. Fiber, however, has an important positive impact on health.

Fiber is usually more of a concern with the elderly who are more prone to suffering from constipation. It is commonly acknowledged as an essential dietary component in promoting regular bowel movement. Healthy elimination, however, is ideal for people of all ages, so sufficient fiber consumption is encouraged for everybody.

Fiber Benefits

Besides preventing or relieving constipation, what other benefits does fiber offer? Here are some fiber nutrition facts that everybody should be aware of.

1.     It slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

High-fiber foods keep your blood glucose levels from going up too fast since the sugar in them is absorbed at a much slower rate. Glucose spikes also plummet rapidly and this causes hunger cues. Fiber-rich foods are filling and discourage overeating even though fiber itself doesn’t have calories.

2.     It makes food move faster through the intestines.

The Role of Fiber in Your Family’s Diet - makes food move faster through the intestines

Adding to the longer lasting feeling of satiety is the quicker feeling of fullness that fiber promotes. Since foods rich in insoluble fiber move faster through the intestines, they are considered very filling, again curbing any urge to eat more.

3.     It cleans your colon.

It’s common knowledge that fiber helps relieve and prevent constipation, but how does it manage to promote soft and regular bowel movements?

Along with sufficient fluid intake, fiber moves food faster through the digestive system. It actually also achieves a scrub-brush effect, cleaning out buildup in the intestines, reducing the risk for colon cancer.

Fiber Sources

The most common sources of dietary fiber are plant foods like grains, vegetables, and fruits. Some of the most fiber-abundant foods are whole grain cereals and breads, prunes, apples, bananas, oranges, berries, pears, legumes, almonds, and artichokes.

Here’s a list of high-fiber foods to give you an idea how much fiber you’re getting from different sources.

  • 1 medium banana – 3.1 grams (of fiber)
  • 1 medium orange – 3.1 grams
  • An ounce of almonds – 3.5 grams
  • 1 small apple – 3.6 grams
  • 1 whole wheat muffin – 4.4 grams
  • Half a cup of cooked green peas – 4.4 grams
  • Half a cup of cooked beans – 6.2 to 9.6 grams, depending on the kind
  • A third cup of bran cereal – 9.1 grams

Fiber Servings

Now that you have better knowledge of fiber’s benefits and sources, you can then find out just how much your family needs to consume per day.

It varies. The average adult usually requires from 25 to 38 grams a day. If you want to monitor your kids’ fiber intake, this is the general guideline for them.

  • 1 – 3 year old toddlers require about 19 grams (per day)
  • 4 – 8 year old kids should get about 25 grams
  • 9 – 18 year old females need about 26 grams
  • 9 – 18 year old males should get about 38 grams

Fiber-Rich Meals

Everybody in your family will benefit from a diet rich in fiber. Which items should be a regular feature in your meals to ensure that your chances of getting enough fiber every day are high?

1.     Whole grain bread

Make sure that you read the nutrition label. There are whole wheat choices that are actually very low in fiber. There should be at least three grams per serving. 

2.     Brown rice

This rice has that color because it maintains its husk, which is where the fiber can be found. White rice has lost its husk, meaning it no longer has fiber.

3.     Whole grain cereal

There are lots of cereal products on the market, so you really have to inspect the nutrition label to make sure that the ones you’re getting are abundant in fiber. Some of your best options are bran and rolled oats.

Cereal is something that your kids probably like to eat. Splash a bowl of this with the best milk for kids and you have a dish of something that meets a whole bunch of their nutritional requirements.

4.     Fruits 

Fruits have lots of fiber. Their juice doesn’t. This is why it’s better to eat the fruit than drink the juice. The juice may have some vitamins, but it also has plenty of sugar. The fiber in the actual fruit will slow down your blood stream’s absorption of its sugars.

5.     Beans, legumes, and veggies

Make sure these also figure in your family’s diet because they are packed with other amazing nutrients besides fiber.

Fiber Inclusions

Fiber is found in so many of the usual foods you eat, so it’s not going to be difficult to maintain a high-fiber diet. All you need to do is be more conscientious about monitoring your family’s intake to make sure that they do ingest the fiber from the available sources.

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