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All About Dietary Fiber

Posted by Deb Spinelli on 8/25/2015
Dietary fiber is found in plant foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. There are two types of dietary fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, turning to a sort of gel, which allows it to collect bile, harmful toxins, or other debris which it then pulls from your body. Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, attracts water, which adds bulk to the stool and helps food pass through the intestines.

Some foods that are high in soluble fiber include:
  • Brown rice
  • Oat bran
  • Oranges
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green plantains

Some foods that are high in insoluble fiber include:
  • Wheat bran
  • Barley
  • Apples
  • Popcorn
  • Oatmeal

Both types of fiber are important to your diet. Fiber helps your intestinal tract eliminate waste from the foods you eat. Of course, there are numerous other benefits associated with fiber. Eating foods that are rich in fiber can help you to feel fuller for longer, which is great news for those of us trying to lose a little weight. A high fiber diet can also help lower your risk of heart disease, as fiber acts to rid the body of extra cholesterol.

Fiber And The Elderly

Fiber is important for everyone, but it becomes even more important with age. As the body ages, the gastrointestinal tract changes. These changes slow the rate at which the intestines move food through the body as well as the rate at which nutrients are absorbed. Malabsorption of nutrients is indeed a common problem among the elderly, along with the nutrient deficiencies that can accompany this condition. Constipation and diverticulosis are also fiber-related issues that become more common with age.

The recommended daily fiber intake is 21 grams per day for women over 50 and 30 grams per day for men in the same age group. You can ensure that you are consuming enough fiber by incorporating fiber rich foods into your diet. Think whole grains and leafy greens. Be sure to read the product labels on the food you eat to know how much fiber is in each serving. A diet that contains adequate fiber can help to prevent constipation, control blood sugar, and treat diverticulosis.

If you are unable to get enough fiber in your regular diet, you may want to consider trying a fiber supplement. Ask your doctor about HyFiber Liquid with FOS. Available from The Medical Maven, HyFiber Liquid with FOS is a fiber supplement that is available in a clear liquid solution. It's ideal for anyone who is on a clear liquid diet. Eliminate painful enema treatments and slow-acting laxatives and stool softeners with The Medical Maven's HyFiber Liquid with FOS.

Statement: A fiber rich diet can eliminate a variety of health problems and improve overall nutrition.

Posted in: Elderly Care, Nutrition