Tag Archives: Organic Fiber-Clear by Advanced Naturals

Are You Getting Your Fill of Fiber?

fiberJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN
 

Those of us who consume the Standard American diet devoid of nutrients and fiber may simply be asking for health problems. Genetics aside, largely preventable lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, result from poor lifestyle choices and a steady diet of processed foods, which lack nutrients but have plenty of sodium, chemicals and added sugars. Many of us may try to include a healthy daily intake of fiber and nutrient filled whole foods, but what actually constitutes a high fiber diet? How much fiber do we need to keep our digestive system working properly, to lower our blood glucose and lipid levels, to achieve a healthy weight or prevent chronic disease? The answer is very likely more than you are getting. Macronutrients necessary for good health include proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Although dietary fiber is technically not a “nutrient,” it is nonetheless a very important dietary component that plays a huge role in disease prevention.

Both the Institute of Medicine and the American Heart Association recommend adult women get a minimum of 25 grams of fiber daily and adult men 38 grams, with slightly lower recommendations for adults over 50 years old. The current average intake is approximately 15 grams daily, only about half the recommended amount. The best way to increase your fiber intake and improve your general health is to eat fiber and nutrient rich whole plant foods, as opposed to processed foods labeled “added fiber.” In fact, we need only to look at our Paleolithic dietary past to see that our hunter gatherer human ancestors were largely vegetarians who consumed upwards of 100 grams of fiber daily. There is plenty of scientific evidence to suggest that a plant-rich diet promotes health and, in some cases can actually reverse cardiovascular disease without drugs or surgery. Our finely tuned evolutionary heritage is not based on excessive amounts of animal foods or refined, processed junk foods but on plant foods, the only dietary source of natural fiber.

Dietary fibers, categorized as soluble and insoluble, are the edible portions of plant cell walls that are resistant to digestion. Soluble fiber attracts water, turning it into a gel-like substance, slowing digestion and allowing additional time for nutrient absorption. Soluble fiber is found in oats, nuts, beans, certain fruits and vegetables and psyllium, a common fiber supplement. Found mostly in whole grains, salad veggies and the outer peel of fruits, insoluble fiber does not absorb or dissolve in water and passes through the digestive system largely intact, pushing out waste and helping to keep the digestive system at optimal function. Many fruits and vegetables contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. Ensuring that you consume enough fiber means eliminating processed foods, including more beans, nuts, legumes and whole grains and getting your minimum allotment of at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

  • Soluble fiber is believed to slow down carbohydrate digestion, thereby slowing glucose absorption and aiding blood sugar control.
  • Studies show those who eat a high fiber diet may have a significantly reduced risk of developing heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and certain gastrointestinal diseases.
  • High fiber intake is associated with lowered blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity in both non-diabetic and diabetic individuals.
  • Dietary fiber intake benefits children as well as adults. A child’s healthy diet should include lots of water and fiber to promote healthy bowel function and protect against constipation. Children with high fiber diets tend to consume more nutrient dense foods, are more likely to meet recommended daily requirements for key nutrients and are more likely to have a healthy weight.  
  • A high fiber diet or fiber supplementation promotes weight loss. Because fiber is filling, adequate fiber intake discourages overeating, while the fiber itself adds no additional calories.
  • As fiber ferments in the colon, it provides prebiotics that support healthy intestinal flora and in turn more optimal immune function.

Tried and true supplements for increasing your fiber intake include:

TruFiber™ by Master Supplements, IncTruFiber. – This non-gritty, tasteless powder contains soluble fiber along with bifidogenic enzymes uniquely formulated to enhance probiotic colonies in the digestive tract. Mix one level scoop daily in a non-carbonated beverage of your choice for improved intestinal comfort and regularity and improved nutrient absorption. Gluten, soy and diary free vegetarian formula.  
 
Organic Fiber-Clear
 
Organic Fiber-Clear by Advanced Naturals – This flavor and grit free natural acacia fiber dissolves quickly in room temperature liquid or in soft foods for a convenient fiber boost. It may be used in cooking or baking without altering the texture or flavor. Contains 100% organic fiber, nothing more, nothing less.
 
Fiber Plus Caps
 
Fiber Plus Caps by Ortho Molecular – These easy-to-take capsules provide a proprietary blend of organic psyllium husk powder along with rice bran, apple pectin and fig with the added benefit of the probiotic, lactobacillus acidophilus. Gluten-free.
 
 
 
MediBulk (SP621)MediBulk (SP621) by Thorne Research – This unflavored soluble fiber formula provides a proprietary blend of psyllium husk powder along with prune powder and apple pectin in support of a healthy GI tract and optimum digestive health.   Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-
GMO formula.

 

References:
Health benefits of dietary fiber.  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19335713
Increasing Fiber Intake.  http://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/increasing_fiber_intake/
Dietary Fiber – what’s its role in a healthy diet? http://www.eufic.org/article/en/nutrition/fibre/artid/dietary-fibre-role-healthy-diet/
Sources of Insoluble Fiber. http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/sources-insoluble-fiber-1413.html
Fiber and Your Child. http://kidshealth.org/parent/growth/feeding/fiber.html
Nutrition Reviews. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x/full

 

 

 

All About Dietary Fiber

dietaryfiberBy Jacquie Eubanks BSN, RN

Dietary fiber, or roughage, is a carbohydrate found in the structural material of plants including the leaves, stems and roots.  Dietary fiber is present in all plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.  Fiber is indigestible and stays intact until it nears the end of the digestive system.  Fiber has a low glycemic index, helping to avoid large insulin spikes after a meal and having a beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity.    

There are two basic types of fiber and each has its own functions.  Both types of fiber are important for health, digestion and prevention of health conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity

  • Soluble fiber –  This type of fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance in your digestive tract.  Soluble fibers slow down the movement of food through the digestive system, delaying the emptying of stomach contents, and keeping that feeling of fullness for longer periods of time.  Soluble fiber plays an important role in lowering LDL cholesterol by interfering with the absorption of dietary cholesterol. 
  • Insoluble fiber –  Sometimes called cellulose, this fiber has a thick, rough texture that does not dissolve in water.  Insoluble fibers absorb water as they move through the digestive tract and tend to accelerate the movement of food and waste.  Insoluble fiber is considered gut healthy as it tends to have a laxative effect, helping to keep bowels regular. 

Fiber is an essential part of the diet.  With the increase of processed and refined foods, the American diet has seen a decrease in the amount of fiber consumed.  On a daily basis, the majority of Americans currently get about half of the recommended amounts of fiber.  A general recommendation for female adults is 21-25 grams of dietary fiber per day.  For adult males, 30- 38 grams of fiber daily.  Dietary fiber is beneficial because it:

  • Helps to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Lowers the risk of colon cancer, heart disease, and digestive conditions such as diverticulitis.
  • Improves blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics and aids in prevention.   
  • Helps control weight by adding bulk to the diet.
  • Keeps the digestive system healthy and regulates bowel action. 
  • Speeds up the transit time through the intestines to aid in elimination of waste and toxins. 

Soluble and insoluble fiber can be found in different foods and also in different parts of the same food.  Insoluble fiber tends to be found in the peels and husks of plant foods and soluble fiber in the fleshy interior.  To ensure that you are getting enough fiber and to get a healthful balance of both types of fiber, look to whole foods and grains.  Fiber-rich foods tend to improve the overall quality of your diet as they are rich in vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting phytochemicals.  Because the body doesn’t break down fiber, you don’t get an appreciable amount of calories, which explains why you can eat a large salad or a lot of vegetables and still eat very few calories. 

Sources of soluble fiber include oatmeal, oat bran, apples, oranges, strawberries, raspberries, beans and legumes, fruits, potatoes and root vegetables.    

Sources of insoluble fiber include corn, brown rice, bran, whole grains, nuts and seeds, vegetables with fibrous skin, and fruit peels. 

Balanced sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber could include, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin and flax seeds. 

Food labels list the amount of fiber per serving but don’t distinguish between the fiber types. It pays to read labels when looking to increase your fiber intake as labels can claim a “good source of fiber” if it contains 2.5 grams, and an “excellent source of fiber” if it contains 5 grams.  Increase fiber-rich foods gradually to give your digestive system time to adapt.  Be sure to consume plenty of water and stay well hydrated.  It’s easy to add fiber to your diet when you think in terms of whole foods – a piece of fruit instead of juice, a high-fiber breakfast cereal, whole grain bread as opposed to refined white bread, and plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Supplements to increase fiber intake:

MediBulk (SP621)
 
MediBulk (SP621) by Thorne Research –  MediBulk contains psyllium, pectin, and prune powder as sources of soluble fiber in a convenient powder form for ease of mixing. 
 
 
 
MetaFiber
 
MetaFiber by Metagenics –  MetaFiber is a low-allergy-potential fiber blend designed to support healthy intestinal transit time and bowel regularity.  One serving provides approximately 83% insoluble and 17% soluble dietary fiber.
 
 
Fiber Clear
 
Organic Fiber-Clear by Advanced Naturals –  Organic Fiber-Clear is a natural source of dietary fiber that helps provide the 25-35 grams of recommended daily fiber.  Made with only 100% organic acacia (a soluble fiber), it dissolves in liquids and soft foods for a convenient fiber boost and can be added to any food without altering the original texture or flavor.