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Nutrition :: Fiber

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It keeps your body running smoothly and can help prevent health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Fiber is an important part of a healthy diet and you're probably not eating enough of it. Kidzworld checks out the the fantastic facts on fiber.

Why Is it Good For You?

Fiber is a natural part of plant foods and it helps keep your body's system clean and running smoothly. It comes from things like the skin and seeds of fruits and vegetables, or the outer kernel of a piece of rice. There are two kinds of fiber - soluble and insoluble.

  • Insoluble fiber is found in wheat, corn, bran and vegetables. Fiber from these foods adds "bulk" to your diet. It absorbs water as it goes through your intestines and enables the muscle movement in the intestines to push waste out of your body. By helping to remove waste from your body, insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation (problems taking a crap) and irritable bowel syndrome, and can reduce the risk of getting colon cancer.
  • Soluble fiber is found in foods like oat bran, dried beans and some fruits and vegetables, like carrots, apples and oranges. Fiber from these types of foods may help control diabetes and high blood cholesterol. Soluble fiber may help diabetics by slowing the rate that sugar enters the bloodstream after a meal, and lower fat levels in the blood. Soluble fiber also helps trap salts, which contain cholesterol, and carries them out of the body.

What Foods Can it Be Found In?

Fiber is found in fresh fruits, whole grains (like whole-wheat bread, brown rice and bran cereals) and beans.

Most North Americans don't eat enough dietary fiber and eat way too much food with lots of sugar and fat. So here are a few examples of good sources of fiber, including the amount of fiber they contain.

  • Apple with peel - 4 grams
  • Banana - 2 grams
  • 2 cups of popcorn - 5 grams
  • 1/2 cup of brown rice - 6 grams
  • Slice of whole-wheat bread - 2 grams
  • Bowl of oatmeal - 4 grams

Did U Know?

  • As a general rule, you should be eating fiber equal to your age plus five grams. So, if you're 12 years old, you should be eating 12 + 5 = 17 grams of fiber each day. Adults should be eating 25 to 30 grams of fiber each day.
  • North Americans ate 10 times as much fiber 100 years ago as they do today!
  • January is Fiber Focus Month.
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