LIVE YOUR HEALTH
In 2010, after completing a rigorous application and site review process by Meals On Wheels America, we were awarded “Exemplary Status” Magnet Accreditation for our outstanding senior nutrition program.
Did you know that fiber does a lot more than keep you regular?
According to the American Heart Association, soluble fiber can help reduce your risk of heart disease by binding with cholesterol and removing it from your blood stream. Soluble fiber slows digestion, which lowers your blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity.
Soluble fiber can also help your waistline by making you feel full without extra calories. Sources of soluble fiber include oats, oat bran, barley, peas, dried beans, lentils, apples, and blueberries.
Insoluble fiber also has many benefits, such as keeping you regular and reducing your risk of colon cancer and hemorrhoids. It can also help control your weight by keeping hunger at bay. Sources of insoluble fiber include whole wheat foods, seeds, nuts, legumes, dark leafy greens, many fruits with skins and vegetables.
So how much fiber is enough? The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics states women should consume 25 grams of fiber per day and men 38 grams per day. After age 50, women need 21 grams per day and men 30 grams per day. Rather than counting grams of fiber, aim for eating at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and a minimum of 3 servings of whole grains per day.
Be sure to include a variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains to ensure you get both soluble and insoluble fiber. If your diet is currently low in fiber, start increasing your fiber intake slowly to avoid digestive discomfort. And make sure you drink plenty of fluids, as water helps to move fiber through your digestive system.
As for fiber supplements, it’s important to discuss them with your health care team before starting any. Fiber comes from plant-based foods, which are rich in many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals, and other nutrients that play important roles in keeping us healthy. Fiber is just one of the many healthy components of eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains!
Meals On Wheels can help you or a loved one reach your daily fiber goals. A minimum daily average of 7 grams of fiber is maintained in each Meals On Wheels meal. This is achieved by offering a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes to help you achieve optimum health.
Hayley Daubert is a registered and licensed dietitian and nutritionist who consults with Meals On Wheels of Northampton County and other organizations. For more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.