Fiber: The Superhero of the Digestive System

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September 26, 2012 by thehealthyheartcenter

Fiber is found in plant-based foods.  It is the portion of the food that is not digested or absorbed by the digestive system.  It can be found in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and whole grains.  Fiber takes a long time to move through the digestive system and helps keep you fuller longer!  Many high fiber foods are low in calories and therefore can help control weight.  Fiber can also help lower the LDL or “lousy” cholesterol that is bad for your heart and arteries.  It also helps keep your digestive system regular and avoid constipation.

Adequate intake fiber recommendations:

  • 1 to 3 years: 19g/day
  • 4 to 8 years: 25g/day
  • 9 to 18 years- female: 26g/day
  • 9 to 13 years- male: 31g/day
  • 14 to 18 years- male: 38g/day

 

Here are a few ways to add fiber to your diet!

  • Choose breads, crackers, and pastas that are “whole grain” or “100% wheat”…the first ingredient on the nutritional label should be whole grain or whole wheat flour
  • Try oatmeal for breakfast!  There are many fun toppings you can add to oatmeal such as craisins, peanut butter, or cut up fruit
  • Choose whole pieces of fruit over fruit juice
  • Try to eat a vegetable at every dinner
  • Popcorn is a great high-fiber snack but watch out for extra butter and salt!
How will you add fiber to your diet?
*Before increasing fiber in your child’s diet, speak with their clinician or dietician.
**Fiber information from Understanding Nutrition by Whitney and Rolfes, Fiber AIs from http://www.usda.gov
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One thought on “Fiber: The Superhero of the Digestive System

  1. Popcorn is one of my favorite snacks! Whole Foods has an awesome option made with extra virgin olive oil instead of butter, great alternative!

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Authors

Dr. Wali Gauvin

Kendra Fink RD CPT

Jessica Griffin: Intern

Julianna Yi: Intern

Marielle Mangano: Intern

Jackie Page: Intern

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