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Foods That Are the Best Sources of Dietary Fiber

a high fiber cereal with raisins and almonds sits in a bowl with milk
(Johnny Green/AP)

By    |   Wednesday, 12 June 2019 11:50 AM

The more we learn about fiber, the more important the recommendation to get enough of it becomes.

Key Health Benefits of Fiber

  • Lowering cholesterol.
  • Lowering blood sugar.
  • Easing elimination.
  • Improving heart health.
  • Possibly reducing colon cancer risk.
  • Helping with weight control.

"Fiber" is actually an umbrella term for many different types in foods, so many they have been likened to vitamins. They vary in function and amount needed, but all contribute to better health.

Common thinking has been soluble fiber, typically found in oats and in legumes like peas and lentils, helps lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar, while insoluble fiber, found in wheat bran and fruit and vegetables, helps keep you regular.

Turns out it is not quite so black and white. Some soluble fibers like oat bran and psyllium do both jobs, while others do not seem to affect cholesterol. That is why getting a mix through a varied diet makes the most sense. But it is also important to get enough fiber every day.

While eating lots of fruit and vegetables is good for many reasons, realize even eating the skins contributes only slightly to meeting daily fiber needs. Try to increase and vary the total amount of fiber-rich foods you eat by adding whole grains like wheat, oats, rye, barley, millet, and buckwheat, along with legumes, nuts, and seeds.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends 25 grams of fiber a day for a 2,000 calorie diet.

Also look for foods with added bran or other sources of fiber. Read labels when comparing brands and choose the one that provides the most fiber.

Finally, keep in mind you will likely need to make some food swaps to meet fiber intake goals without adding more daily calories than you need in the process.

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The more we learn about fiber, the more important the recommendation to get enough of it becomes.
diet, fiber, blood sugar, cholesterol
Wednesday, 12 June 2019 11:50 AM
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