What is Fiber?
Fiber is a component of plant meals (fruits, vegetables, grains) that our body cannot absorb or break down. There are many health benefits of high-fiber foods. Fiber can lower cholesterol, better control blood sugar levels, and limit bowel cancer.
Food fiber consists of those parts of plant cells that cannot be digested by enzymes or other digestive secretions.
Cereal fiber is especially valuable because man’s bowel has become accustomed to it over thousands of years. Cereal fiber (bran) has a greater laxative effect than fruit and vegetables fibers.
Bran (whole wheat) is present in 100% on the whole, fiber isn’t digested or absorbed so it is not nourishing in the widely accepted sense of the word. Even so, it’s essential to the normal working intestine, which obviously means that it benefits the whole body. Fiber soaks up liquid like a sponge and adds bulk to the motions and, makes them soft and easy to pass.
What is more, bran speeds the passage of the waste through the bowel, so that harmful and unwanted materials are eliminated quickly, and without straining. It is also helpful in normalizing many body functions in people who have not eaten a diet sufficiently rich in fiber for many years.
What’s wrong with refined carbohydrates
Over a century ago, some bright individual had a brilliant idea that made it possible to mill a new low fiber flour and baked beautiful new white bread and pastries. These products may have looked more elegant but they had less fiber in them. With the coming of this low fiber flour, many of our modern diseases arose.
Modern milling of flour removes almost all the bran from white and from most brown bread (except for 100% wholemeal of course.) Some other examples of refined food are white rice which is rice from which the bran with its vitamins is removed.
What changes in your diet can be made?
The answer varies for individuals but there are certain guidelines to help for the prevention of the diseases and common ailments. They are recommendations from which we can all benefit. I will lay down a simple guide to foods containing fiber and offer practical suggestions on how you can change your diet to increase its fiber content.
It is advised that cereal carbohydrate foods should have less of their fiber extracted. To double the proportion of carbohydrate foods, there would need to be increased consumption of wholemeal bread, peas, beans, lentils, and root vegetables like potatoes, carrots
It is advised that the energy intake from fat should be reduced. Protein levels should remain unchanged. To achieve such a reduction of fat levels less meat and dairy products should be consumed and visible fat on meat removed before eating. Candies, cream cakes should be eaten sparingly.
It is also recommended a reduction of eggs, butter, and cholesterol rich foods. This is because of the assumed correlation between cholesterol intake and cholesterol levels in the blood. This assumption is currently still a matter of great debate among medical scientists. The daily level of salt consumption is advised to halve – due to its effect on high blood pressure.
Which foods have high fiber?
High fiber foods and health benefits.
Increase your intake of wheat, this is the best way to increase your fiber intake. Make sure that the flour the chapati is made from is as near as possible to wholemeal. Also, cut out completely all white processed bread.
Wheat has four times the amount of dietary fiber, it’s an effect on bowel behavior, and content is even greater than this. Weight for weight, it is eight times more effective than white bread in treating constipation and its consequences.
Wholemeal flour contains 100% of the wheat grain after the husk is removed. White flour contains 60% of the grain – the reminder containing most of the fiber ad much of the mineral and vitamin content having been removed during milling.
Fiber in Bread
Vegetables and Fruit
Less intake of fatty foods, especially animal fats means a reduced meat intake and in particular red meat such as beef, lamb, and pork. Try to eat leaner meats instead of fatty ones. White meats such as fish and poultry have a much lower fat content.