Fiber refers to the indigestible and non-absorbable components of our food. It consists primarily of the walls of the cells of our fruits and vegetables, composed primarily of cellulose. The consumption of high amounts of fiber is associated with a lowering of serum cholesterol, and is believed to lower the risk of colon cancer and possibly breast cancer. It also improves bowel function and lessens the development of the diverticular diseases in the colon, diverticulitis and diverticulosis.

Fiber also contributes to satiety, which is the sensation of fullness. As such, it can contribute in this way to calorie restriction and weight management.

%d0%b4%d0%b8%d0%b5%d1%82%d0%b0-3The ability of dietary fiber to lower cholesterol has been strongly proven in multiple studies of oat bran and oatmeal. This effect seems to be stronger in people with high serum cholesterol compared to people with normal cholesterol who show little change in cholesterol from dietary fiber. Consumption of the equivalent of 3 gm of soluble oat fiber will lower total cholesterol by 8-23%. The importance of this is that each 1% drop in total cholesterol result in a 2% decrease in the risk of developing heart disease. 3 gm of fiber is provided by approximately one bowl of oat bran cereal or oatmeal.

The target for dietary fiber consumption is 35gm of fiber per day. Examples of fiber content are as follows:

  • 1 medium apple- 3.5 gm
  • 1 medium banana-2.4 gm
  • 1 medium orange- 2.6 gm
  • 1 medium tomato- 1.5 gm
  • ½ cup celery- 1.1 gm
  • 1 cup broccoli- 4.4 gm
  • 1 cup carrots- 4.6 gm
  • ½ cup baked beans- 8.8 gm
  • ½ cup navy beans 6 gm
  • ½ cup white rice- 0.2 gm
  • ½ cup brown rice-1.0 gm
  • ½ cup all bran- 8.5 gm
  • ½ cup grape nuts- 2.8 gm
  • 1 ¼ cup corn flakes 0.6 gm

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