Increasing dietary fiber intake provides many health benefits yet the average fiber intake for adults in the US is less than half of the recommended levels of 25g for women and 38g for men.Â High intakes of fiber appears to significantly lower risks of developing heart disease, diabetes, obesity and gastrointestinal diseases.Â Increasing fiber intake also is reported to lower blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels.Â A high dietary fiber intake (25-38g) can lead to successful weight loss by slowing down digestion making one feel full and satisfied longer or by adding bulk to stool which aids in the digestion process and elimination of wastes.
How the processes of aiding in weight loss works depends on whether the fiber is soluble or insoluble.Â Some examples of natural foods containing soluble fiber are cucumbers, blueberries, beans and nuts.Â Soluble fiber dissolves into a gel like material that slows down digestion and makes a body feel satiety (state of feeling full).Â Insoluble fiber is found in dark green, leafy vegetables, beans, celery and carrots.Â This fiber adds bulk to stool and allows the body to eliminate wastesÂ faster which means lessÂ gastrointestinalÂ discomfort.
Foods naturally rich in fiber that provide the added nutrients our bodies need are beans, peas, chickpeas, black eyed peas, artichokes, whole wheat flour, barley, bulgur, bran, raspberries, blackberries and prunes.Â Other recommended natural sources of fiber include lettuce, dark leafy greens, broccoli, okra, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, corn, snap beans, asparagus, cabbage, whole wheat pasta, oats, popcorn, nuts, raisins, pears, strawberries, oranges, bananas, blueberries,Â mangoes and apples.
Avoiding white flour, white bread, white pasta and white rice and replacing with whole grains isÂ also an easyÂ way to add fiber into the diet. There are plenty of whole grainÂ substitutes on the market these days — just look down the grocery aisles.
For obese individuals, it is always best to consult with their physician before any diet or supplement but with certain diet plans, some whole foods are not allowed duringÂ early phasesÂ in the diet.Â Extracted natural fibers are an easy way to supplement fiber for these individuals.Â Extracted natural fiber sources includes lignin from (plant cells), cellulose (sugar from plant cells), gum (sugars in seeds) and psyllium (husk of plantago plant).
Another way to supplement is with Soluble Corn Fiber which is produced through enzymatic hydrolysis of cornstarch.Â Itâ€™s poorly digested in the small intestine but partially fermented by the gut bacteria in the large intestine and exhibits the same physiological benefits of dietary fiber.
Soluble corn fiber has a low viscosity, is water soluble, and is stable under heat, and various pH conditions making it easy to blend and a stable product for a patient’sÂ benefit (1).Â This product can be widely used in a variety of prepared foods, beverages, and HealthWise products!
Other benefits of Soluble Corn Fiber:
- It has many of the same health benefits associated with intact dietary fiber found in grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruit. (1)
- Is better tolerated thenÂ inulin and fiber extracted by chicory root. (2,3)
- Improves intestinal regularity. (4)
- Has prebiotic properties. (3)
- Supports healthy blood glucose control. (2)
- May support bone health by increasing calcium absorption. (3)
Dietary fiber supplements come in many forms like pills, capsules, powders (added to a product or plain)Â and liquid and only a weight loss professional and physician will know what is best for the patient who is trying to lose weight.Â A supplement containing 5g of fiber per serving is considered an excellent source of daily fiber.
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Resources Fiber: Web MD-Fiber Supplements and How to Use Them; www.health.harvard.edu -harvard health blog -making one change-getting more fiber; Mercola.com – .High Fiber Diet Helps Boost Weight Loss; Today’s Dietitian.com
Resources Soluble Corn Fiber:
- Constance Brown-Riggs MSEd, RD, CDE, CDN ; Todayâ€™s Dietitian Vol. 15 No. 12 page 32;: Functional Fibers â€“ Research Shows They Provide Health Benefits Similar To Intact Fibers Found in Whole Foods. Dec. 2013Â Â (1)
- Tate & Lyle. Soluble Corn Fibre: Health Benefits and Product Applications. August 2013.Â Â (2)
- Housez B, Cazaubiel M, Vergara C et al. Evaluation of digestive tolerance of a soluble corn fibre. Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietitics 2012;25(5):488-496.Â (3)
- Konings E, Schollelen PF, Stegen J, Blaak EE. Effect of polydextrose and soluble maize fibre on energy metabolism, metabolic profile and appetite control in overweight men and women. Britsh Journal of Nutrition. 2013:1-11.Â (4)