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High Five for Fibre
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High Five for Fibre

Written by Fran Berkoff
Provided by Sun Media

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Move over carbohydrates -- the 2005 buzzword for healthy eating is fibre.

Studies continue to show the value of a high-fibre diet, linking it to a reduced risk of heart disease and some cancers, as well as better glucose tolerance in diabetes. A high-fibre diet is good for a healthy gut and can even help manage your weight. The term fibre refers to the indigestible part of plant foods. Experts suggest we get between 25 to 35 grams daily which is about twice what most people consume.

Last week, new dietary guidelines were released in the United States. This is the beginning of changing food guides and the recommendations suggested will probably be similar in a future Canadian Food Guide which is still a work in progress. The new American guidelines are more specific and state that one choose fibre-rich fruits and vegetables and whole grains more often. They recommend two cups of fruit and 21/2 cups of vegetables per day and three or more ounce-equivalents of whole grain products per day with the rest of the recommended grains coming from enriched or whole grain products. In general, at least half of the grains should come from whole grains.

One of the disturbing parts of the low carbohydrate craze has been the movement away from healthy carbohydrates. While it is wise to cut out some of the junkier carbs and downsize those huge portions, eliminating carbs means eliminating fibre as well as lots of important nutrients.

There are two kinds of fibre -- soluble and insoluble. Most plant foods contain both but some foods are richer in one than the other. Insoluble fibre, often called roughage, is found in wheat bran, whole wheat products, brown rice, the skins of fruits, vegetables like carrots, broccoli and peas. This fibre helps lower risk of some cancers, prevents constipation and may help other conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or diverticulitis. Soluble fibre, found in lentils, legumes, oat bran, oatmeal, flax, psyllium, barley and pectin-rich fruits such as apples, strawberries and citrus fruits, helps lower cholesterol and may help control blood sugar in people with diabetes.


  1. Follow the new U.S. guidelines and eat two cups of fruits and 21/2 cups of vegetables daily.
  2. Snack on high-fibre fruits such as pears, raspberries or strawberries and dried fruits such as prunes, dried apricots or raisins. Leave the skins on, when possible, but wash thoroughly.
  3. Include the higher fibre vegetables such as corn, peas, potatoes (with skin), sweet potato, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots and turnip.
  4. When you're shopping, look for products that are high in fibre. To be labelled a "source of fibre" label, a product must have two grams of fibre per serving. Products labelled as a "high" source contain four grams and if they're marked "very high," they must contain at least six grams.
  5. Eat more whole grains -- whole wheat bread, cereals, pastas. Include other whole grain foods such as barley, brown rice, buckwheat groats (kasha), flaxseed, bulgur, kamut, spelt, oatmeal, oat bran and millet. If these grains are new to you, look for recipes that use them as side dishes, in soups, stews or salads.
  6. Buy 100% whole wheat bread. When it says "multigrain," check to see what the largest ingredient is. If the first ingredient on the list is enriched white flour, you aren't getting as much of the whole grain as you want. Wheat flour does not mean whole wheat flour. Just because a bread is brown or dark in colour, doesn't mean it is whole wheat.
  7. Add fibre to a sandwich with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, shredded carrots or dark leafy greens.
  8. Eat breakfast cereals with at least four grams of fibre per serving.
  9. Up your fibre by adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of wheat bran, oat bran or ground flax to cereals, yogurt, applesauce, casseroles and soup. Choose baked goods that include whole wheat flour, bran, oatmeal, raisins, poppy seeds or sesame seeds.
  10. There is a lot of fibre in lentils and legumes. Make lentil or bean soups, add barley, beans or lentils to casseroles. Add chickpeas to pasta or green salad or refried beans to taco and burritos. Buy or make hummus or other bean dips and serve with cut up vegetables or wedges of whole wheat pita.
  11. Add a handful of seeds or nuts to a salad or stir-fry.
  12. As you start to increase your fibre intake, go easy. Too much, too quickly can make you pretty uncomfortable. Start slowly and spread your fibre throughout the day. Also, be sure to drink lots of water to help the fibre do its job.

FIBRE ADDS UP... and it's easy to incorporate these foods into your diet:
  • 1 cup black beans; 12g of fibre
  • 1/2 cup 100% bran cereals; 10g
  • 1 cup cooked lentils; 9g
  • 1 cup kidney beans; 7g
  • 1/2 cup almonds; 5g
  • 5 dried figs; 8g
  • 1 pear; 5g
  • 1 cup cooked oat bran; 4.5g
  • 2/3 cup Shreddies; 3g
  • 1/2 cup raspberries; 3g
  • 1/2 cup peas; 4g
  • 1 baked potato (with skin); 5g
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread; 4g
  • 1 cup broccoli; 4g
  • 1 apple, with skin; 3.5g
  • 2 tbsp. wheat bran; 2.5g

    Recommended dietary FIBRE from Osumex

    Concentrated Natural Flax Hulls is a very good dietary fibre as it contains both soluble and insoluble fibres. It is totally natural and suitable for vegetarians as well as "raw foods" practitioners. In addition the Flax Hulls provide you with the recommended daily value of Vitamin B12. At the same time they contain lignans, which are great immune system boosters, reduces free radical activity in the body and support the prevention of prostate, bowel and breast cancers. Used with LB17 "live" probiotic will ensure that the lignans are absorbed efficiently by the body and helps reduce gas and bloating usually associated with a high fibre diet.

    Another great nutritious fibre product is Organic Gold "cold-milled" Ground Flaxseeds. This is Certified Organic under USA Organic Standards and accordingly does not contain any GMO materials. Organic Gold also provides the very important Omega 3 & 6 Essential Fatty Acids that the body needs but does not produce.

    See below for a sample of Fortified Flax Hulls (1st pic) and Flax Hulls (2nd pic)

    Each jar contains 180gm of fortified flax hulls or 150gm of flax hulls

    The above information is provided for general educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace competent health care advice received from a knowledgeable healthcare professional. You are urged to seek healthcare advice for the treatment of any illness or disease.
    Health Canada and the FDA (USA) have not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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