Before understanding how fiber can benefits ones health if incorporated into their daily food intake, it is important to understand what defines fiber and where it can be found. According to Linda Van Horn, PhD, fiber originates “from the cell walls of plants plus other indigestible components of plants” (Van Horn, L., 1997, para. 2). Overall it is important to understand by integrating fiber into ones diet will produce beneficial results in one’s health. For instance, a well balanced fiber diet can help reduce the risk of acquiring chronic diseases, becoming obese, and having high cholesterol. In order to modify ones fiber intake it is crucial to know what foods contain what type of fiber (Van Horn, L., 1997).
Foods that are commonly high in fiber are separated into soluble and insoluble fiber. When attempting to increase ones soluble fiber foods such as oats, legumes, and beans should be incorporated into the daily food intake. As for ...view middle of the document...
In addition, insoluble fiber stabilizes the pH that is present in the intestines to avoid chances of producing cancerous microbes. (Tsang, R., 2005). Unlike insoluble fiber, soluble fiber “binds with fatty acids” and “prolongs stomach emptying so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly” (Tsang, R., 2005, para. 4). This is extremely beneficial for diabetics who have to monitor their sugar levels on a daily basis. By increasing the amount of soluble fibers in ones diet can result in lowering ones cholesterol level, which will in return make them less likely to be at risk for heart disease. (Tsang, R., 2005).
In order to calculate how much fiber a child should consume on a daily basis, the American Heart Association suggests applying the “age plus 5” rule. (Van Horn, L., 1997, para. 18). In this case, one would take the age of the child and add 5 to calculate the number of recommended grams of fiber that child should consume on a daily basis. As for adults, “the Institute of Medicine recommends consuming 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories you need” (American Heart Association., 2009, para. 2).
I was already aware of the importance fiber has on ones recommended daily food intake but was able to gain newfound knowledge as I read the assigned articles. An interest fact that was brought to my attention was how fiber is broken down into soluble and insoluble. Prior to reading this article, I was under the impression that fiber was simply fiber (less complicating then it really is). Now I can say I have a better understanding of what defines soluble and insoluble fiber and how much I should be consuming daily.
American Heart Association. (2009). Fiber. Retrieved June 15, 2009 from http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4574
Tsang, Gloria R.D. (November, 2005). Fiber 101: Soluble Fiber vs. Insoluble Fiber. Retrieved June 15, 2009 from http://www.healthcastle.com/fiber-solubleinsoluble.shtml
Van Horn, Linda PhD, American Heart Association. (1997). Fiber, Lipids, and Coronary Heart Disease. American Heart Association. Retrieved June 15, 2009 from http://circ.ahajournals.org/cgi/content/full/95/12/2701