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Articles > Nutrition > Fiber for Rookies
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It`s not only the average American who isn`t getting enough fiber in their diets, but studies have shown that even bodybuilders aren`t getting enough. Why is this? We are supposed to be the most educated people when it comes to getting good nutrition and it comes as a major surprise that we are not getting enough. This article is going to explain the basics of dietary fiber. You will learn what fiber is, its benefits, best fibrous foods, best supplements to use, and the side effects of consuming to much of it.

According to Wikipedia encyclopedia, dietary fibers are defined as the indigestive portion of plant foods that move food through the digestive system and absorb water. There are two types of fiber: Soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber slows down digestion of the foods you eat in the stomach and small intestine. This stabilizes blood glucose levels by slowing down the conversion of other carbohydrates into glucose. Insoluble fiber actually increases the rate of digestion and helps prevent digestive disorders such as constipation. It also reduces the absortion of salt, reduces the risk of high blood pressure, and eliminates toxins from the body.

The best sources of fiber are whole grain cereals, beans, oats, fruits, and vegetables. Many of the fibrous food you eat may have been a part of a refining process where the amount of fiber stated on the label is actually decreased, so keep that in mind if you`re trying to watch amount of fiber you eat. If you`re having trouble getting enough fiber in your diet or simply cannot stand the taste of fibrous foods, I highly encourage you to increase your fiber intake by use of supplements. Products such as Metamucil, Citrucel, Hydrocil, and Konsyl are all good supplements to add to your arsenal.

The average fiber intake should range from 20-35 grams daily. You need to determine how much you need by size, age, sex, and current health problems. According to recent USDA surveys, the average person only consumes 12-17 grams of dietary fiber daily, which is way too low. You still need to find a healthy balance and not go overboard with the fiber, either, because too much of it can cause diarrhea and bloating.

There are more obese people than ever before and the rate will keep growing higher and higher until people actually start eating more fiber. I am not saying that consuming more fiber is the miracle cure to obesity, but it will help. Fiber makes you feel less hungry, gives you more energy, and keeps your body functioning properly. There is no reason why one wouldn`t want to increase their fiber intake. Until next time!

Zach Bashore
April 04, 2006

 

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