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Part 1 – Fiber: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

oats-fiberThis is Part 1 of a two part post:

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate found in plants. It’s indigestible to humans but it’s still important to incorporate in our daily diets to promote healthy digestion and gut movement.  There are 2 types of fiber: soluble and insoluble and each serves its own unique function.

 

  • Soluble
    Dissolves in water – mixing together to create a “gel”
    Slows digestion
    Softens stool by adding water to increase mass & allowing easier passage
    Can be broken down by bacteria (fermentable)
    May help relieve constipation
  • Insoluble
    Not dissolved in water – moves through gut unchanged
    Stimulates gut movement to help relieve constipation
    Non-fermentable
    Bulking agent for stool

Recommendations:

Try to aim for 20 – 35g of fiber each day

Increase your fiber intake slowly

Consider a fiber supplement if you’re unable to meet the recommended amount (psyllium)

Eat small, frequent meals

To prevent excess gas from the action of gut bacteria, choose low-FODMAP grains, starches, fruits, & vegetables (watch for this information in part 2)

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