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A hiking buddy visited a nutritionist a few months ago. One of the most valuable suggestions – increase dietary fiber.

Fiber. A high-fiber diet can help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, and keep your heart and digestive system healthy. High-fiber foods also keep hunger pains at bay and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Fiber promotes regularity and lowers the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
Amount of fiber recommended for a healthy diet: 38 grams per day for men, 25 for women.

A few simple changes can make a significant difference to healthy eating and general sense of well being.

  • eat fruit and vegetables – skins included, wash to remove surface pesticides
  • fiber content in whole grain products varies – check nutritional information and select products with higher dietary fiber
  • include beans, lentils and split peas – they’re filling, fiber-rich and cheap

That’s the simple answer. But wait. There’s more…

The Whole-Grain Truth

… Whole grains, it turns out, can vary tremendously in their fiber content.

The 2005 USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend that adults consume around six ounces of grains daily, and that we make half those grains whole. That means about three ounces of whole grains a day. Depending on the grains we choose, that could be between 1 1⁄2 and 3 cups.

… People who eat plenty of whole grains tend to be leaner and have a lower risk of heart disease than those who don’t. This is probably because whole grains contain antioxidants, phytoestrogens and phytosterols that are protective against coronary disease.

http://www.eatingwell.com/news_views/opinion/whole_grain_truth.html

Learn more…

5 Simple Ways to Get More Fiber
http://www.eatingwell.com/health/diabetes/5_ways_to_more_fiber.html

157 Fruits and Fruit Juices – Highest in Dietary Fiber (based on levels per 100 grams)
http://www.nutritiondata.com/foods-009006000000000000000-w.html?mbid=NDNL

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