Is Fiber Really That Important?




Hey guys, the answer to this one is a huge YES!!!

There is loads of solid scientific research that proves, beyond the shadow of any doubt, that fiber is extremely healthy for you, your body, and optimal functioning of your organs.  Also, multiple studies conducted over the years have also proven that a high fiber diet is very effective in preventing cancer, particularly colon cancer.

So, a question I often get is — “How can I really eat as much fiber as they recommend?”

I’d like to answer this directly, to ensure there is no confusion at all.   The recommended daily fiber intake is 45 grams daily.  If you are following a vegan diet, and have a good variety of grains, fruti, beans and legumes, you are most certainly getting your daily requirement with a lot more to spare.  You see, the people who often do not meet the requirement are those who rely on fast food and heavily processed food throughout the day.  Sadly, as you know, this is a very large proportion of the US population.

A general rule to follow to help you gauge how much fiber you may be eating is this:  If you stick with the more natural foods, the foods that are ‘big’ and ‘crunchy’ (think cabbage, carrots, apples), you will definitely be on the right track.  Just make sure you don’t make the mistake and consumer potato chips – thinking you are following the ‘crunchy rule’!  🙂

As you know, the food industry has realized that “Fiber is Healthy” is a slogan that has been adopted.  Astute marketers are finding ways of labelling all sorts of foods to appear that they are indeed healthy – when, in reality, they may not be at all.  I challenge you to start reading some labels.  You will likely find lots of recently added phrases on the food labels — such as:  “Fiber Rich”,  “High Fiber”, and many more.

One particularly disturbing phenomenon is the creation of what is known as “Functional Fiber”.  Perhaps you haven’t heard of this before.  This is the food industry’s response to ‘creating fiber’ where none exists.  You see, they ‘add’ fiber to foods in order to make them appear that they are healthier.  But what, really, is this added fiber?  It is sourced from pea fiber, oat hull fiber, cottonseed fiber, soy fiber, and wheat fiber.  But, it is so highly processed, that the ‘fiber effect’ is not valid.  You see, if you closely read the label of any product that has ‘Functional Fiber’, you will see either “cellulose”, “maltodextrin”, or “polydextrose”.  These unhealthy compounds are fillers that have been added right along with the ‘Functional Fiber’.  This action by the food industry is not a healthy addition at all.  Adding highly processed fiber, simply for the intent of ‘appearing more healthy’ is meaningless.

My advice?  Go for the real thing!  Don’t be swayed by the manipulative food marketing tactics.  GO grab an apple, eat a hearty bowl of oatmeal, have some delicious brown rice, fix a huge salad loaded with all sorts of good crunchy vegetables.  Your taste buds and your body will thank you!

I have lots more I can share on this subject.  Please pass this along if you found it useful.  If you have specific questions you’d like me to answer or address, I am happy to do that.  I encourage you to leave comments.

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