Go to Mid Coast Hospital Home Page
Clinical Services Wellness Doctors Patients & Visitors Careers Volunteer About Giving Find Us
Our free e-Newsletter
Newsletters Family of Services Mid Coast Hospital Search Site Map Contact Us
Mid Coast Center for Community Health & Wellness Newsletter
March 2018
Subscribe to our e-newsletter

Fiber for Your Health

Fiber for Your Health

Fiber is an important nutrient with many health benefits. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that you eat 28 grams of fiber per day, but the average American eats only 15-19 grams per day. By eating more fiber, you can enjoy a long list of health improvements.

  1. Reduce Your Risk of Certain Cancers

    For every 10 grams of fiber you eat, you experience a 10% reduction in risk of colorectal cancer and a 5% decrease in risk of breast cancer. Additionally, many high-fiber foods are also rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, both of which are known to reduce your risk of cancer.

    Furthermore, the American Cancer Society states that a poor diet and a lack of physical activity are two important factors that can increase a person’s risk of cancer. To help reduce your risk, quit smoking, stay at a healthy weight, exercise regularly, and eat more plant-based foods.

  2. Improve Your Gut Bacteria

    Yes, bacteria! The healthy bacteria in your gut thrive on fiber which enables them to produce chemicals that reduce systemic inflammation, which is linked to a number of chronic health problems and obesity. But remember: you need to eat enough fiber in order to get the benefit.

  3. Lose Weight & Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Foods rich in fiber fill you up faster and keep you satisfied longer, both of which will help you lose weight. Research conducted at the University of Massachusetts Medical School demonstrated that the simple step of eating 30 grams fiber daily helps individuals lose a significant amount of weight. As a bonus, it also lowers your blood pressure and improves your response to insulin.

    The research was particularly interesting because it compared results against a group using a complex diet reducing sugar, fat, calories, and salt. The research indicated that the simple change of increasing fiber intake had profound positive effects.

    Furthermore, Tanya Zuckerbrot, RD, author of the F-Factor Diet, notes that fiber binds with undesirable molecules, such as fat and sugar, to lower the number of absorbed calories. Not only can fiber help you lose weight; it can help you keep it off for a lifetime.

  4. Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

    High-fiber foods may help reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes. According to a meta-analysis of a cohort study from eight European countries, those who ate more fiber experienced an 18% reduction in their risk of diabetes compared to those who ate less fiber. Specifically, this analysis showed a 9% decrease in risk for every 10 grams of fiber consumed. High fiber intake resulted in a lower body weight, which, when combined with steady blood sugar levels, decreases your chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.

  5. Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

    Reduce Your Risk of Heart Disease

    More and more evidence links a high-fiber diet to a reduced incidence of heart disease. This is most likely due to the fact that soluble fiber decreases both total and low-density serum cholesterol levels and improves insulin resistance. Additionally, people who eat a high-fiber diet are less likely to develop metabolic syndrome which is a precursor to a number of chronic illnesses.

Eating fiber is good for you. But what is the best way to make sure you and your family eat enough fiber to enjoy all the health benefits? Remember: not all fiber is created equal. Do not be fooled by the packaging of fortified foods claiming to be high in fiber. Instead, eat a diet filled with unprocessed foods, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Not only will these foods supply you with adequate amounts of fiber but they will be loaded with other important nutrients.

Choose Whole Grains

When it comes to whole-grain products, the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines recommend choosing:

  • Products with whole grain as the first item in the ingredient list
  • Products which list whole grains as the first item and contain no added sugars

Another option is to look for the whole grain stamp established by the Whole Grains Council, a nonprofit group. This stamp can be placed on packaging if the product contains at least eight grams of whole grains per serving.

According to Patrick Skerrett of Harvard Health, use the 10:1 rule when choosing whole-grain foods. Look at the nutrition label. For every 10 grams of carbohydrate, there should be at least one gram of fiber. This ratio is consistent with the fiber-to-carbohydrate ratio of unprocessed whole grain. This recommendation comes from a report from the Harvard School of Public Health published online in the journal Public Health Nutrition.

Getting enough fiber can be a delicious task. No matter how you choose to enjoy fiber in your diet, savor it knowing that it plays an important role in your continued good health!


 If you're looking for more information about the benefits of fiber-rich, heart-healthy grains, watch this Health Within Reach presentation by Dr. Enrique Rivas of Mid Coast Cardiology.

Top 10 Fiber-Rich Foods
  1. Navy Beans
    9.6 grams per 1/2 cup
  2. Acorn Squash
    9 grams per cup
  3. Black Beans
    8.3 grams per 1/2 cup
  4. Chia Seeds
    8.2 grams per two tablespoons
  5. Split Peas
    8.1 grams per 1/2 cup
  6. Chickpeas
    8.1 grams per 1/2 cup
  7. Raspberries
    8 grams per cup
  8. Lentils
    7.8 grams per 1/2 cup
  9. Blackberries
    7.6 grams per cup
  10. Green Peas
    7.2 grams per cup
Calendar Highlights
Summer Meditation Series
Aug 24, 2022
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
Sep 20, 2022
Top 10 Fiber-Rich Foods
  1. Navy Beans
    9.6 grams per 1/2 cup
  2. Acorn Squash
    9 grams per cup
  3. Black Beans
    8.3 grams per 1/2 cup
  4. Chia Seeds
    8.2 grams per two tablespoons
  5. Split Peas
    8.1 grams per 1/2 cup
  6. Chickpeas
    8.1 grams per 1/2 cup
  7. Raspberries
    8 grams per cup
  8. Lentils
    7.8 grams per 1/2 cup
  9. Blackberries
    7.6 grams per cup
  10. Green Peas
    7.2 grams per cup
Calendar Highlights
Summer Meditation Series
Aug 24, 2022
Youth Mental Health First Aid Training
Sep 20, 2022
<< Previous Article
National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
>> Next Article
The Healthy Recipe Library
 
 
FOLLOW:
Mid Coast Hospital - For a Lifetime of Caring
123 MEDICAL CENTER DRIVE
BRUNSWICK, MAINE 04011
Copyright © 2022. Mid Coast Hospital.
All rights reserved.
 

RESOURCES

EDUCATION & SUPPORT GROUPS
QUALITY & SAFETY
OUR DOCTORS
EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT
PAY ONLINE
CAFE MENU
TOWNS SERVED
CONTACT US

MENU

HOMEPAGE
CLINICAL SERVICES
DOCTORS
WELLNESS
PATIENTS & VISITORS

CAREERS
VOLUNTEER
ABOUT US
GIVING
FIND US
SITE INDEX
PRIVACY PRACTICES

Mid Coast Hospital - For a Lifetime of Caring

123 Medical Center Drive, Brunswick, Maine 04011
(207) 373-6000 | Directions

Copyright © 2022. Mid Coast Hospital. All rights reserved.

Accredited by The Joint Commission. Recognized as
a Magnet™ Hospital for exceptional nursing and patient care by the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Magnet Recognized Seal
Learn more about Quality & Safety.