Fiber is a type of carbohydrate found naturally in plant-based foods. Fiber contains vitamins and minerals and other nutrients that the body can use for optimal health.
Most of the carbohydrates and other food components such as fats and proteins are broken down into molecules and get digested easily whereas fibers cannot be broken down into smaller molecules and keep the body undigested and always stay hungry.
TYPES OF FIBER
There are two types of fiber – (i) Soluble fiber (ii) Insoluble fiber – both benefits humans in different ways. Soluble fiber helps in lowering blood sugar, lowering cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Some soluble fiber include beans, lentils, oatmeals, peas, apples, and barley.
Insoluble fiber promotes regularity and prevents constipation. Insoluble fibers are commonly found in brown rice, wheat, legumes, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and so on.
BENEFITS OF FIBER
- Fiber helps to manage the weight
- It prevents gallstone and kidney stone
- Lowers cholesterol level
- Cuts type 2 diabetic risk
- It helps to keep you regular and reduces constipation
- Reduction in blood pressure.
- Digestive disorder
MEETING FIBER NEEDS
|Up to 6 months||No consumptions|
|6 months to 1year||5 grams / day|
|1 to 3||19 grams / day|
|4 to 8||25 grams / day|
|9 to 13 – Boys||31 grams / day|
|9 to 13 – Girls||26 grams / day|
|14 to 19 – Boys||38 grams / day|
|14 to 19 – Girls||26 grams / day|
Source: American heart Association
Generally, food that is high in fiber would have at least 5 grams of fiber per serving or more. Those that are a good source of fiber will have 2.5 grams of fiber per serving. Low fiber foods, i.e., less than 2.5 gram of fiber includes – ground meat, eggs, milk, yogurt, cheese, ice cream, white bread, white rice and pasta, ripened bananas.
DIETARY FIBER CONTENT OF FOODS
|VEGETABLES||SERVING SIZE||GRAMS OF FIBER|
|LEGUMES||SERVING SIZE||GRAMS OF FIBER|
|GRAINS||SERVING SIZE||GRAMS OF FIBER|
|Brown rice||1 cup||4|
|Wheat bran||¼ cup||6|
|FRUITS||SERVING SIZE||GRAMS OF FIBER|
|Pear (peal on)||1 medium-size||6|
|Apple (peal on)||1 medium-size||4|
FUN WAYS TO SNEAK FIBER
- Increase fruits and vegetables by spreading peanut butter
- Add dried fruits to cereals, muffins, and wheat bread.
- Offer high fiber snacks such as popcorn, trail mix, and raw veggies.
- Offer smoothies by blending fruits
- Serve sandwiches using whole grain bread. It also includes lettuce, tomatoes, and fresh veggies.
- Add nuts to baked goods.
CERTAIN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT FIBER
- Add fiber to your diet slowly. Adding too much fiber too quickly can cause gas, bloating, and cramps.
- Drink plenty of water, which helps move fiber through the intestine
- Too much of fiber can cause premature illness
- Another good thumb rule is – foods high in food are usually low in fiber.
- Fiber absorbs water. So the more fiber added to the diet, the more fluids should be consumed.
FIBER IN FAST FOODS
Often children prefer fast foods. Most fast food contains high calories and carbohydrates. But finding healthy fast food with rich in fiber is quite tricky. So to avoid this scenario, serve the children with a sandwich or burger with wheat bun and wheat bread. Choose nuts or fruit salad along with ice cream and potato fries. To introduce high fiber-rich foods to children, offer at least two foods at each meal and one at snack time.
People struggling to get enough fiber goes with fiber supplements. Fiber supplements can be helpful for people who are suffering from constipation. Consuming supplements doesn’t provide enough nutrition as high fiber-rich food gives. Therefore, avoid consuming supplements and consume natural fiber foods and stay healthier.
Not only adults need fiber-rich foods. But children also require enough fiber. Some children are suffering from many diseases such as high cholesterol, high glucose levels, and heart disease at a very young age. It is all due to the imbalanced diet, not consuming nutritious food.
By serving fiber in children’s food, it can enhance the metabolism and provide energy. Increasing fiber-rich foods is one simple step to take care of their health. So by serving nutritious food can help the child to grow healthier and also satisfy a child’s hunger.
Varshini Murali is a content strategist of SchoolBasix, who researches on the latest topics that education industry speaks about. Specializes in handling blogs that potential means of marketing and circulating across social media and holds a master’s degree in marketing. Looking to hear from you soon. Kindly share the published URL once the article is published