Happy New Year! To start the new year off right and encourage healthy resolutions, this month's Tasty Tips is all about fiber during National Fiber Focus Month.
What is fiber?
Fiber is a nutrient found in plants. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
"Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to gel during digestion. This slows digestion. Soluble fiber is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils, peas, and some fruits and vegetables. Research has shown that soluble fiber lowers cholesterol, which can help prevent heart disease."
"Insoluble fiber is found in foods such as wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains. It appears to speed the passage of foods through the stomach and intestines and adds bulk to the stool."
Adding fiber to your diet too fast can lead to negative side effects, such as gas, abdominal cramps and bloating. Slowly adding fiber-rich foods to your diet will decrease these side effects as you begin increasing your fiber consumption.
Where's the fiber?
Find a complete list of food sources of fiber here.
Not sure how much fiber you need every day? Check out your general fiber recommendation in the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines.