Tuesday, September 9, 2008

More crap is better

Unfortunately, "crap" in this sense doesn't mean all those tasty wonderful foods like cake, french fries, greasy pizza, fried snickers bars, cheesecake, potato chip sandwiches on white bread. I mean it in a more literal sense.

Today's post is about fiber. Thing is, all those handy dandy little health listings on the side of your food containers will list fat, calories, protein, salt, and so on. But usually no fiber. We see commercials on tv (for Total for example), where we learned that fiber is good for us. But do any of us ever really talk about it? Apart from keeping us regular, is it really important?

Up until recently, I honestly thought it was really just a digestive tract thing. But it turns out that fiber has so many more health benefits than I ever realized!

- Fiber can help keep weight under control. Because they tend to have more bulk than other kinds of foods, if eaten in sufficient quantity and at the right time of day, they can help to stave off hunger for a longer period than other food choices.
- A Massachusetts General study showed that higher fiber consumption lowered the risk of stroke.
- While scientific results remain inconclusive, many people advocate that fiber helps prevent against colon cancer. My philosophy on this? Ok, so many it's not going to reduce my risk that much. But it's not bad for me, and it's got other benefits. So might's well, right?
- Fiber may lower the risk of other diseases (breast cancer, ovarian cancer, diverticulitis, diabetes, gallstones and kidney stones, heart disease)

So what is fiber exactly? And what does it do?

Insoluble fiber - whole grains and the outsides of seeds, fruits and legumes. These swell up like a sponge, absorbing many times its weight in water. This can help eliminate digestive disorders.

Soluble fiber
- fruits, vegetables, seeds, brown rice, barley, oats, and oat bran. This one works chemically to prevent or reduce the absorption of various substances into the bloodstream. Helps lowers LDL (bad cholesterol) and regulates blood sugar.

Where do I find this fiber stuff? Try this list. The highest foods on there? Bran cereal, cooked beans (lentils, kidney beans, lima beans), dry rolled oats, avocados, raspberries.


MizFit said...

love the post.
it all reminded me of my fab doctor boyfriend Mehmet.

I love when he talks about poop :) your fiber chat is a close second.


The Lethological Gourmet said...

lmao, Miz! I tried not to get too graphic with my fiber chat :)

Charlotte said...

I love my fiber. Of course, I'm one of those "if some is good then more is better" kinda folks. (Yeah, I'm working on that.) So I eat a LOT of fiber. There is bloat. And gas. And, well, lots of poop. But no cancer! Whee!

The Lethological Gourmet said...

I didn't realize fiber caused bloating! Good to know.