Friday, March 02, 2007

Which Fibers To Take? Bran, Beans and Lentils

Being the outermost layer of a grain, bran is typically removed when grains are processed. The purpose is to increase their shelf life. Many foods are subsequently enriched with bran fiber. For example, a half cup of wheat bran cereal has approximately 13 g of fiber.

Beans and lentils contain fair bits of fibers too. For instance, a cup of kidney beans provides over 11 g of fiber while the same amount of chick peas gives over 12 g of fiber, almost half of the daily recommended intake. Lentils can furnish even more fiber with a cup providing over 15 g of fiber.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Which Fibers To Take? Oats and Barley

Fiber is very important for us if we wish to be healthy. The aim is to get at least the minimum recommended amount of between 12g and 18g per day for adults. For children over the age of 2, the recommended intake is the child’s age plus 5g, according to United States guidelines. In addition, we should also have a balance of both soluble and insoluble types of fiber.

A few familiar and surprising fiber options will be introduced over the next few days. First of all, Let us take a look at oats and barley.

Study has shown that beta-glucan, a specific soluble fiber contained in oats and barley, can lower cholesterol. Therefore, for people with high cholesterol, consuming a mere 3g of soluble oat fiber per day (it is appropriately the amount found in a bowl of oatmeal) can typically lower their total cholesterol by as much as 23 percent.

Because of these findings, the United States FDA has approved health claims on products that have soluble fiber from foods such as oat bran.

Beta-glucan also has the beneficial effects in stabilizing blood sugar levels, hence it is good for diabetics as well.