Fiber Make It Count

Fiber Make It Count

By:
Silvia Atsma

Focus on Fiber - It Fills Us Up and Flushes Fats

We are all counting something, it is how we can track progress toward a particular goal.  If you are trying to lose weight you are probably counting calories, steps, protein and ultimately pounds lost. We would like to have you mix it up and count the quantity of FIBER you consume.

Fiber is healthy and necessary for our bodies to function properly.  When losing weight, we tend to focus on the calories of a particular food rather than its nutritional impact.  Just pay attention to all the low calorie or zero calorie processed foods being advertised in January.  Unfortunately, these so call guilt-free or sugar-free foods have little or no nutritional benefit for you. We believe that long term consumption of artificial sugars and ingredients certainly have a negative impact to your overall health.  

Fiber has two forms soluble (absorbs liquids) and insoluble (does not absorb liquids).  Both forms of fiber are important to maintain our digestive health.  The soluble fiber is what helps us feel fuller, regulates digestion and smooths the transition of the waste through the body.  Insoluble stays whole, maintaining bulk and is sometimes called the scrub brush of our intestines. 

The benefit of Fiber is for each gram of fiber the body displaces 7 calories.   So if you ate 40 grams of fiber in a day, your body would freely give up 280 calories.  Personally that equals about 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer.  So in my simple mind, I just doubled the calories I burned in my workout, without the extra time.  

Goal is to strive for 35-45 grams of fiber daily. (Our ancestors ate 50 grams of Fiber daily)   

By choosing foods higher in fiber, the nutritional impact of the food also increases.  Salads are an awesome addition to your healthy diet plan, but it's not the lettuce, it's the toppings of veggies, nuts and seeds that pack a high fiber nutritional punch combined with low calorie consumption.  Skip the processed dressing, cheese and croutons and you have a good-for-you salad.

When you consider foods to eat, ask yourself: "Which one counts more?"   If you had a choice between 1 cup of raspberries and a medium peach which would you choose? Both are wonderful fresh fruits in season, both have great health benefits but the raspberries have 8 grams of fiber and a medium peach has 2 grams of fiber.   

Not to confuse things but to clarify how the fiber helps in eliminating calories we'll continue with the raspberry and peach comparison.  The peach has 58 calories and the raspberries have 65 calories.  The fiber impact of the raspberries of 8 grams helps reduce their total calorie impact by 56 calories. While the peach reduces its calorie impact by only 14 calories.   The difference is even greater when you compare a juice to the whole fruit.  One medium orange is 62 calories 3 grams of fiber where 8 oz of orange juice is 103 calories and .05 grams of fiber. Considering the impact for a healthy weight management the whole orange wins.   

Start counting...you might be surprised.  Many of us think we eat a diet that has lots of fiber, but we fall short of the 35-40 grams.  Standard American diets consist of 10grams of fiber!  No wonder we are a constipated nation. (Just saying)

You are now counting fiber and you can get to 25 grams pretty easy. It's getting the next 10-15 grams you have to be deliberate about.  Are you drinking a protein shake in the morning or focusing on high protein foods?  Many high protein foods (Meat, Eggs & Diary) are naturally low in fiber.  Consider adding a 2 tablespoons of Chia Seeds (4g) or ground Flax Seeds to your protein shakes or choose one that contains protein.  You can add fiber additional fiber to your diet with products that you can shake on you food to increase the fiber content without calories.  We also have good-for-you snack bars that are high in fiber.  Our staff can help you find some of those products, but your first choice is always go with actual foods.  By consciously choosing foods that are higher in fiber, you can eat a wholesome, nutritious diet without having to over focus on calories. 

List of high fiber foods

 Spicy Black Bean Dip with Sami's Lavash 

A high fiber protein snack that packs a spicy punch.