by Tara Sallee, MS, RD, LD, Hy-Vee Corporate Dietitian
Fiber comes from plants like fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains. We use fiber for energy as it is not digested in our bodies. There are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble fiber. Think of insoluble fiber as the janitor picking up our body’s waste, putting it into a pile, and pushing it out the door. Soluble fiber, on the other hand, is the slow-rolling fiber that keeps us full and our blood sugar from rising.
Consumption of a fiber-rich diet can show benefits of weight management, diabetes control and bowel function. Fibrous foods can positively affect weight management by keeping you fuller for longer, making you less likely to overeat.
Individuals with diabetes can find an ally among fiber-packed foods since they have been shown to lower blood sugars by slowing the release of sugar from foods into the bloodstream. Once the meal is over, fiber gets to work in the gut by increasing the bulk of our stools, helping it move through the body and pass with ease.
Everybody and every body may need different amounts of fiber. According to the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI), adults and children over the age of 4 are recommended to have around 25 to 38 grams per day. It is recommended that young children ages 1-3 have around 19 grams per day.
Here’s an easy label-reading tip for finding fiber sources: A high-fiber item will have 5g or more per serving and an item that is a good source of fiber will have between 2.5g and 4.9g per serving.
If you are looking for more fiber-rich ideas, check out Hy-Vee.com for more recipes. Look into our Healthy Habits meal planning program or our monthly themed events for even more ideas. This recipe packs a heavy fiber punch of 21g in just 2 tacos. Take a look and try this fiber-rich Squash and Black Bean Soft Shell Tacos recipe.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.