Fiber in your diet

Posted on Mar 29, 2016 in Diet

DIETARY FIBER, OATS, SATIETY. The global prevalence of overweight and obesity has been steadily increasing. Between 1980 and 2013, the prevalence of these two “medical conditions” has increased 41.5% among children and 27.5% among adults. These disturbing trends have not been reversed in any part of the world, and obesity does not discriminate between low and high income levels. Even if these trends have been “stabilized” in certain countries, this is still a major cause of concern for all health care systems worldwide. The multidimensional nature of obesity complicates our treatment of this significant, worldwide epidemic. With so many environmental, physiologic, and genetic factors involved, the strong biological resistance to weight loss and the incredible predisposition to weight “regain” promotes a vicious cycle of failed attempts and “personal distress”.
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that whole grains comprise at least half of the 6-11 daily servings of grains to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. In all of my SuperFoods books I recommend only whole grains, with the knowledge that all of us will on occasion have some yummy non-whole grain treats such as sourdough bread-butter-jam (my favorite). Whole grains contain a wide array of nutrients, such as FIBER, plant-based omega-3 fats, minerals (magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese, copper, phosphorus, selenium, calcium), vitamins (B-vitamins-thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, pyridoxine, and folate), and 100’s of phytonutrients (non-vitamin, non-mineral nutrients with health benefits to humans).
Although the precise, physiologic role of fiber continues to expand, there is increasing evidence the dietary fiber component of whole grains (and fruits, vegetables, legumes) plays an important part of whole grain (and fruits, vegetables, and legumes) prevention of obesity, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer (and even helps to prevent recurrent cancer-e.g. breast). Our appetite is a complex interaction between the external environment, our psychological profile, subjective states, choice of food, speed at which we ingest food (it takes about 20 minutes for our stomach to send a “I’m full” message to our brain), and our central nervous system/GI tract influence on the aforementioned.