Figuring out fiber

Aug 3, 2014

Fiber is a word that is often thrown around in conversations regarding digestive health.  Fiber comes in many forms, and it can be difficult knowing which types are the best for you.

This week on “Take Care,” nutritionist Joan Rogus talks about the importance of fiber in your diet and how to get the appropriate amount.  Rogus is a registered dietician in central New York who has her own private practice in Syracuse.

Click 'Read More' to hear our interview with Joan Rogus.

Rogus defines fiber as “anything that comes from a plant.”  Fruits, vegetables, and whole grains are examples of good sources of fiber.

A diet that is high in fiber helps to maintain bowel health, lowers cholesterol levels, controls blood sugar, and makes you less likely to overeat by making you feel fuller.

There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.  Soluble fiber dissolves in water, while insoluble fiber does not.  Rogus says that both types of fiber are good for you.

“I want to take it a step further and say it [the type of fiber] almost doesn’t matter, just get more fiber in your diet.”

Rogus recommends that you get between 25 and 30 grams of fiber per day.  The average American gets only 15 grams per day.  To get the most fiber out of your food, try to eat whole foods.  For example, peeling the skin off of an apple greatly reduces the amount of fiber that you ingest.

Snacking is a great way to consume fiber.  Nuts, fruits, berries, and popcorn are healthy options.

When looking at nutrition labels, Rogus says to “aim for a minimum of three, preferably five grams of fiber per serving.”

Because there are so many tasty foods that are high in fiber, getting the recommended daily amount of fiber should be a fairly easy dietary goal.