Fiber

Thoughts on fiber:

Dietary fiber includes soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber's listed benefits are just what I am after: blood sugar regulation, reducing cholesterol, and losing weight. I've tried it out, and it held true for me. Most fruits and vegetables have both kinds, and usually have more insoluble than soluble. As a result, I favor soluble fiber when supplementing. Insoluble fiber is also needed, though. I try to make sure to "eat my vegetables" to get the insoluble. Sometimes I'm not good about that, though, so I may try adding some corn or wheat bran to some recipes too.  

How to benefit from fiber:

  1. When using fiber to balance fructose and/or calories, the fiber must be eaten at the same time as the sugar and calories.
  2. Having a glass of water with fiber added, even without any food, can help:
    • Satisfy hunger, allowing me to avoid wanting a snack.
    • Reduce how much I eat at a meal, if consumed about 15 min prior to the meal. 
  3. Balance the fructose with fiber to mimic the ratio found in fruit:
    • 1 g fiber per 2 g fructose (sadly fructose is rarely listed on food labels)
    • 1 g fiber per 4 g sugar
  4. Try to balance calories with fiber, per US Dietary Guidelines pg 41:
    • 1 1/2 g fiber per 100 calories
  5. Given the choice between (a) having minimal fiber and minimal fructose in my diet and (b) adding some fiber and fructose to my diet, choice (b) results in more weight loss, and so is preferable. Even better, of course, would be adding fiber without the fructose.

Good ways to add fiber:

  • Eat more vegetables, legumes, and bran. These can help the calorie/fructose/fiber balance of other foods. Fruit adds good fiber too, although due to fructose content, only balances itself.
  • Benefiber or similar clear, non-thickening fiber additive: 1.50 g fib/tsp 
    • The brand-name version seems finer, and dissolves more quickly.
    • Both dissolve better in luke-warm water than in cold.
    • Avoid clumping in liquid by sprinkling in while stirring.
    • In recipes, first mix into dry ingredient (like sugars or flour) to avoid clumping.
  • Chia Seeds: 1.33 g fib/tsp 
    • These have all the other good stuff you find in berries, have a mild, pleasant taste and crunch.
    • They puff up into a gel when wet, and stick in your teeth if eaten whole.
    • Grind finely in a spice mill to avoid sticking in teeth.
    • In recipes, can replace one egg with 1 Tbsp chia and 3 Tbsp water
  • flax meal: 0.67 g fib/tsp , 
    • Have other nutritional benefits beyond just fiber.
    • Also have a strong flavor that isn't necessarily desirable.
  • oat bran: 0.22 g fib/tsp
    • A bit bulky compared to the other choices.
  • Kellogg's All-Bran Bran Buds cereal: 11 g per 1/3 c  
    • 1/3 c has 13 g fiber, but 2 g are needed to balance the cal's & sugar in the cereal
    • Tasty with cinnamon sugar and milk, to add needed fiber to balance bacon and eggs, for example.
    • Might be good sprinkled on yogurt, added to a nut mix, mixed into a bread dough or muffin batter, in other words, lots of potential as an add-in to other recipes.
  • This site has a nice listing of the soluble and insoluble fiber in a lot of foods. 
  • The USDA database is searchable and extensive. It lists dietary fiber, sadly not providing the soluble/insoluble breakdown.

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