Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can't digest. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested. Fiber helps regulate the body's use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.
High-fiber foods are much richer in vitamins and essential nutrients that other food groups, an most definitely over fiber supplements. It's true that a simple high-fiber diet can provide immense health benefits and has proven to be easier to stick to when compared to other diets that require multiple changes in eating habits.
The recommended daily intake of fiber is between 25-30 grams. Typically the main sources of fiber are in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and beans. Fiber has been shown to lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure. Fiber fills you up and keeps you fuller longer.
Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, corn, or another cereal is a grain product. This includes bread, pasta, oatmeal and grits are all grain products. There are two main types of grain products: whole grains and refined grains. Whole grains contain the entire grain (bran, germ and endosperm). Ex: whole wheat, oats/oatmeal, rye, barley, corn, popcorn, brown rice, wild rice, buckwheat, triticale, bulgur, millet, quinoa, and sorghum. Refined grains have been ground into flour or meal which results in the bran and germ being removed. This gives grains a finer texture and improves their shelf life. This process removes some important nutrients, including B-vitamins, iron and dietary fiber. Ex: wheat flour, enriched bread and white rice.
Whole grains are nutritious because they have a lower glycemic index. They lead to a smaller rise and fall in blood-sugar levels after a meal than refined grains do. Including whole grains in your diet plan may help you reach or manage a healthy weight.
Whole grains contain important source of many nutrients:
· Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3 and Vitamin B9
· Folate (folic acid & B vitamin) helps the body form new cells and can prevent certain birth defects
· Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood
· Magnesium is a mineral that is involved in more than 300 processes in the body.
· Selenium is important for a healthy immune system and regulating thyroid hormone action
It is important to include a variety of grains in your eating plan because grains differ in their nutrient content. Whole grains can be a good source of fiber - refined grains usually are not.