More Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber

Two More Benefits of Fiber

(This part is continuation of the previous article)

The soluble forms of fiber have value in control of blood cholesterol and blood sugar. Fruits, vegetables, beans, and oat bran are good sources of these forms of fiber.

The soluble fibers don’t lower blood cholesterol nearly as much as the cholesterol’s sources raise it. But a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has a mild cholesterol-lowering effect, thanks to the fiber. Lower blood cholesterol, of course, means lower rates of heart disease.

These soluble forms of fiber have also revolutionized the treatment of diabetes. New research has shown that a high-fiber diet helps diabetics control their blood sugar better than the diets used in the past. Their insulin requirements often drop on a high-fiber diet. Changes in insulin doses should be made only on a doctor’s instructions.

Fiber’s ability to keep the blood sugar under control may very well help people who do not have diabetes. A low-fiber meal can cause the blood sugar level to rise quickly, then drop abruptly. Headaches, hunger, and irritability can set in as a result.

But fiber can guard against these symptoms by preventing sharp swings in the blood sugar level.

How to Estimate Fiber Content?

If you want to estimate your fiber intake, consult the chart that follow. This chart gives the total fiber content of foods.

Total Fiber Content of Foods

(Soluble and Insoluble Fiber)

1 gram 2 grams 3 grams
Almonds, 10 Brussels sprouts, 1/2 cup Bread, rye, 1 slice
Apricots, 2 medium Carrots, 1/2 cup Bread, white, 3 slices
Asparagus, 1/2 cup Corn grits, cooked, 1/2 cup Broccoli, 1/2 cup
Banana, 1 small Oats, cooked, 1/2 cup Pear, 1 small
Bean sprouts, 1/2 cup Onions, 1/2 cup Popcorn, popped, 3 cups
Bread, white, 1 slice Rutabagas, 1/2 cup Zucchini, 1/2 cup
Bread, french, 1 slice Strawberries, 1/2 cup
Cauliflower, 1/2 cup Green beans, 1/2 cup
Cherries, 10 Summer squash, 1/2 cup
Cucumber, raw, 1/2 cup Tomatoes, 1/2 cup
Egg noodles, cooked, 1/2 cup
Eggplant, 1/2 cup
Graham crackers, 2
Grapefruit, 1/2
Kale, 1/2 cup 4 grams 5 grams or more
Lettuce, raw, 1/2 cup Apple, 1 small All-Bran cereal, 1/2 cup
Peach, 1 medium Beans, kidney, 1/2 cup Bran Buds cereal, 1/2 cup
Peanuts, 10 Beans, white, 1/2 cup 100% Bran cereal, 1/2 cup
Pecans, 2 Blackberries, 1/2 cup Grapenuts cereal, 1/2 cup
Pineapple, 1/2 cup Parsnips, 1/2 cup Peas, 1/2 cup
Rice, brown, 1/2 cup Potato, 1 small Rolled oats, dry, 1/2cup
Roll, dinner, 1 Shredded wheat cereal, 2 large
Spaghetti, 1/2 cup biscuits
Turnips, 1/2 cup

Unless otherwise indicated, all values for vegetables reflect fiber content of the cooked product. Analyzes of fiber content by James W. Anderson, High Carbohydrate and Fiber Research Foundation, Lexington, Kentucky.

Find the next powerful charts in the following article: