I find that the general public knows that eating fiber is a good thing and THEY would probably eat more fiber if they knew how. Advertisers are marketing anything that is made from flour as “made from whole grain” and this is not helping people choose the right high fiber foods. You would think that it should help, but it isn’t. White bread, as I explain to my patients, is made from whole grain. Wheat (whole grain) is stripped of fiber and nutrients and becomes white bread. It is then nothing more than sugar made into a loaf, so to speak. White foods like white bread and white pasta (unless fiber has been added) is nothing more than carbohydrate without fiber. This means that in about an hour it is sugar in your system. You might as well eat a lollipop with your chicken at dinner instead of rice. You may be thinking that this is a joke or that I am exaggerating. If that were the case then America would be thin and healthy. I’m not kidding and overall, we as a population, are not healthy.
What do I eat then? This is probably what you are thinking. I know because when I explain this to people who is what I hear. Look at the label I’ll say. Don’t look at the packaging slogans. Eat carbohydrate foods that have 2 grams of fiber or more for each 15 grams of carbohydrate. What? Labels are set up in such a way that they list carbohydrate amounts in grams. Most slices of bread are around 15 grams. Under the Total Carbohydrate listing you will find fiber. You want to see 2 grams of fiber listed there if the total carbohydrate amount is around 15 grams. What if the Total Carbohydrate is 30 grams? You want the fiber to be 4 grams of fiber, or more. Still confused? Go grab a loaf of bread and look at the label while you re-read this paragraph.
To point you in the right direction you can look for brown items. Brown rice, brown pasta, brown bread, brown rolls, and brown cereal for starters. You still need to look at the labels to make sure that you have found true high fiber foods. High fiber foods are becoming more and more prevalent. Pretzels, tortilla chips, and cookies all come in high fiber these days. Step one is being able to determine what is a good source of fiber. Step two is being open-minded enough to try new things. Fruit and vegetables are also good sources of fiber, especially those with skins. Skins are a good source of fiber.
Fiber has many health benefits that we have all heard about but it also makes you feel better throughout the day. Many people go through the day on a grab and go basis. Grabbing a donut here, a sandwich there and so on and so on. White flour garbage that rapidly breaks down into sugar in our digestive tract and keeps us on a roller coaster of sugar highs and then fiber lows. High fiber foods take longer to digest and prevent the roller coaster effect of the white flour foods. So many people are addicted to these foods. Sugar begets sugar begets sugar. It is an addiction to the sugar high and the euphoric feeling we get from eating carbs that lack fiber.
Teach yourself how to identify good fiber rich foods. Try new foods that you can enjoy eating. Get off the roller coaster.