Remember Your Fiber
Diets rich in foods that are high in dietary fiber have been shown to have a number of beneficial effects including helping to decrease risk of coronary heart disease. Experts recommend consuming about 30 grams of total fiber each day for good health. There are two types of dietary fiber, soluble and insoluble. Both are important in a healthy diet.
Types of Fiber
(the type that does not dissolve in water and is found in wheat bran, whole grains and vegetables) helps promote regularity.
(the type that dissolves in water and is found in oat bran, oats, barley and beans) helps lower blood cholesterol levels and may help modulate blood sugar levels after eating. Due to its soluble fiber content, daily consumption of oatmeal (enough to provide 3 grams of soluble fiber), when consumed as part of a heart-healthy diet, has been proven to help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Oatmeal also contains insoluble fiber. The combination of soluble and insoluble fiber makes oats unique compared to other common grains.
How can you incorporate fiber into your daily diet?
First, start consuming higher fiber foods in small amounts. Let your body adjust by increasing the fiber you eat in small increments. If you increase your fiber intake dramatically, gas, diarrhea, and bloating may result. However, increasing your fiber intake gradually should minimize these effects. Substitute whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables for some of the high-fat or processed foods you eat.
Second, drink plenty of fluids to help the fiber do its work. Third, choose foods, not fiber supplements, to gradually increase your intake of fiber. Fiber containing foods offer other nutrients like vitamins, minerals and protein while supplements may not. Here are some healthful combinations that can be incorporated into your daily menu:
| ||Serving Size ||Total Grams of Fiber ||Grams of Soluble Fiber |
|Whole Grain Cereals || ||3+ ||Varies |
|Quaker Oatmeal (Old Fashioned & Quick) ||1/2 Cup, Uncooked ||4 ||2 |
|Quaker Squares Toasted Oatmeal Cereal ||1 Cup ||5 ||2 |
|Quaker Instant Oatmeal ||1 Pouch ||3 ||1 |
|Quaker Oat Bran Hot Cereal ||1 Cup, Cooked ||6 ||3 |
|Quaker High Fiber Instant Oatmeal ||1 Pouch ||10 ||8 |
|High Fiber Oatmeal To Go ||1 Pouch ||10 ||6 |
|Quaker Fiber + Omega-3 Chewy Granola Bars ||1 Bar ||9 ||8 |
|Apple, Raw, Peeled ||Medium ||3 ||1/2 |
|Green Beans, Cooked ||1/2 Cup ||2 ||1/2 |
|Kidney Beans, Cooked ||1/2 Cup ||6 ||2 |
|Barley, Cooked ||3/4 Cup ||5 ||2 |
Source: USDA Provisional Data