Fiber and Disease
In a recent nutrition consultation with an executive, he admitted that
he frequently eats lunches and dinners provided by his company. After
analyzing these meals, I found that not only was his diet too high in
fat, but very low in fiber.
Typical restaurant and take out meals severely lack fiber. This is a significant
problem because we have known for a while now the importance of a diet
rich in fiber for the prevention of these diseases
- cardiovascular disease
- high cholesterol
There are two kinds of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is
found in apples, oats, seeds and beans. It seems to lower the amount of
cholesterol that circulates in your blood, and why high fiber diets are
associated with heart health. Insoluble fiber is found in plant leaves,
roots, seed coverings and peels. This fiber acts as the “roughage”
of your digestive tract making you feel full, absorbing water, and stimulating
movement through your intestines.
The general daily fiber intake recommendation is 25-35 grams. There are
many products on the market that claim to be high in fiber, but a closer
look shows they might not be any healthier than the average candy bar.
The not-so-healthy Health Bar
When lunches and dinners are provided by your employer, it can be hard
to get the recommended amount. Your first reaction may be to reach for
a “high fiber” branded food. Unfortunately, many foods branded
as “high in fiber,” are also high in sugar, sugar substitutes,
saturated fats, processed starches. Not to mention the vitamin and mineral
content is minimal. The very popular Fiber One bars contain 10 grams of
sugar and 29 grams of carbohydrates. A quick scan of the ingredients list
includes high maltose corn syrup, corn syrup, canola and plam oil, and
chocolate chips!Exactly how these foods can improve your health is questionable
and are certainly not recommended for a good physique.
Best Fiber Sources
Increase your fiber intake by keeping fiber rich fruits and vegetables
in your office, along with seeds, like flaxseed and chia seed. These seeds
can be sprinkled on salads or mixed in yogurt. When eating out, choose
meals that contain legumes or beans ( 1 cup of navy beans has 19 grams
A healthy diet is a well-rounded diet. But busy executives need to create
unique strategies to balance healthy living with the demands of work.
At your Executive Physical, your physician and exercise physiologist will
help you determine the best way to manage this.
By Kyla Bauer
Exercise Physiologist, PN1- Certified Nutrition Counselor