Fiber Beneficial in Overall Health 6-15-12

Fiber has many roles in keeping us healthy. A study at Northwestern University of more than 11,000 people found eating a high fiber diet reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease. Fiber binds to cholesterol in the body and pulls it out, lowering cholesterol levels. Fiber protects against some cancers.  It attaches to estrogen, a cancer-promoting hormone, and eliminates excess amounts.  Without fiber, unused cholesterol and estrogen will be reabsorbed in the body.  Fiber absorbs water and helps food move through the digestive tract quickly.  This helps dilute and eliminate potential carcinogens.  Fiber helps stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate nutrients are absorbed in the blood stream.  To help lose weight, increase fiber consumption.  Fiber will make us feel full quicker.  Fewer calories will be consumed on a low fat, high fiber diet.

Contrary to belief, meat has no fiber. It is found only in the plant kingdom. Studies are inconclusive to the benefits of fiber that is added to food. Have a goal of 40 grams of fiber a day by eating high fiber foods such as beans, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.