Want to know about dietary fiber!

Dietary fiber is defined as the part of plant foods that cannot be digested.  There are different types of fiber, which fall into 2 broad categories: Insoluble fiber and soluble fiber.

Insoluble fiber functions mainly as a bulking agent and so it helps to regulate our bowel functions, prevent constipation and keep our large intestine healthy. As a bulking agent, insoluble fiber also tends to make us feel full (a high satiety index), and thus may be useful for people who are on a weight-reducing diet.

Good sources of insoluble fiber are wholegrain cereals, whole meal bread, seeds, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

Soluble fiber, on the other hand, has been shown to help reduce blood cholesterol levels and regulate blood sugar levels, thus lowering the risk for heart disease and improving diabetes management.

A good source of soluble fiber is found mainly in fruits, vegetables, beans and oats.

As both types of fibers are important for good health, dietitians recommend that we eat both.  The easiest way to do so is to add a variety of fiber-rich foods in our daily diet.

Dietary Fiber Intake Recommendations

Dietary surveys in the US and Canada revealed that the fiber intake of adults average around 15 grams a day, an amount that falls short of the daily recommendation of 25 to 35 grams.

Children, on the other hand, need proportionally less.  Experts recommend a gradual introduction and avoid adding too much fiber as it may have negative consequences.  Too much fiber may:

  • Fill up a young child’s stomach capacity before he eats enough food to meet his nutritional requirements.
  • Bind with essential minerals such as calcium, zinc and iron, rendering them less available to the body. This may be a concern in children whose diets are already limited in these minerals.

Important note:

Remember, when introducing fiber-rich foods into your child’s diet go slow and at the same time, encourage your child to drink more fluids, to optimize the functions of fiber.

About Abdul Qudoos

• Abdul Qudoos has been writing and presenting healthy articles since late 1998, mostly on subjects related to biotechnology, lipid sciences (fats & oils), healthy fruits & vegetables and value added products, • Having experience of 12+ years in Research and Development of food products, and Operations of Quality Assurance and Management. • International work experience in Multinational food groups. • Known as Specialist in Fats and Oils and its allied products. • Expert in Dry Food Mixes, Bakery / Dairy Ingredients and Nutraceuticals (Functional Foods). • Proficient in making Fruits & Vegetables value added products. • Good Sensory Evaluation and Tasting of food products (Trained/Expert workshop from 3 reputed organizations). • Strong academic background – M.Sc. Industrial Chemistry; Bachelor Degree in Biotechnology, Microbiology and Chemistry; Few Diplomas in Management Systems; and Attended more than 20 Training Courses related to Food formulation, processing, quality, safety,and testing/analysis. • Active and Senior member of few groups and associations.
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5 Responses to Want to know about dietary fiber!

  1. Dr. Cor J.M. Arts says:

    Dear Abdul,
    Good to promote the use of dietary fiber. I did my thesis on this subject: Dietary fiber and hormonal processes related to mammary carcinogenesis.
    I think one of the important compounds is lignine, the inert compound with can bind all kind of toxic compounds and prevent them to be absorbed in the body. Lignine will leave the body together with the bound toxic compounds by faeces.

    Best regards,
    Cor Arts

  2. zerodtkjoe says:

    Thanks for the info

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