American Dietetic Association recommends that a minimum of 20–35 g of dietary fiber a day for a healthy adult depending on calorie intake. Research shows that an average American consumes less than 15 gms per day. Since fiber in our diet is very essential and often a neglected 'nutrient', I was wondering how we can effectively incorporate fiber in our diet. This thought led to a discussion 'Gyan Session' with Dr MK Janardana Sarma PhD (Retd Deputy Director NIN, Hyderabad, India). Here are some interesting revelations from that session.


1. Boost up fiber in your diet which guards your body against so many 'enemies'.


2. Soluble fiber delays stomach emptying. This in turn delays and spreads out the absorption of sugar, resulting in a more normal pattern of insulin secretion as well as better control of blood sugar. 


3. Fiber also binds and reduces the absorption of dietary fat, which can help with weight control.


4. Because of beneficial effects on weight, cholesterol and glucose metabolism, higher fiber intake is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. 


5. Fenugreek seed happens to be the only plant product which has more than 46% fiber in it. So makes sense for us to make effective use of this fiber.


a. Soak fenugreek in adequate cold water for 24 hrs in the refrigerator. Throw away the water, wash, drain and store in the refrigerator/freezer for future use. Use this fenugreek to make dosa, idli batter or other recipes where it can be effectively disguised.
Another way is to sun dry the above drained fenugreek seeds and powder, sieve in a cheese cloth and sneak the powder in recipes like in chapati dough.


b. To better enjoy the typical Indian breakfast like idlis and dosas, boost up the fiber by using Whole Urad dal (without discarding the black husk), by adding more fiber like the fenugreek powder discussed above. [We are idli fans so this point had to be clarified :)]


c. Addition of fiber reduces the overall glycemic index of the food item in question.


d. So if the idlis/dosas are fiber-fortified, a typical diabetic can enjoy 4-5 idlis for breakfast. (Always check your sugar levels when changing your diet). Another point to note is that the requirement of carbohydrate is the maximum in the morning than later in the day. So better to eat such foods in the morning.


e. Never consume alcohol with food. Alcohol hinders fiber absorption in your body. If you do consume, do so 90 min before or 90 min after meals.


f. Always soak dried beans for 24 hrs and not just 'overnight'. That is when the fiber in those beans is at its peak.


Here is a list of other High-fiber Foods which can help us (Source - here )
1. Dried beans, peas, and other legumes - This includes baked beans, kidney beans, split peas, dried limas, garbanzos, pinto beans and black beans.
2. Bran cereals - Topping this list are Bran Buds and All-Bran, but 100% Bran, Raisin Bran, Most and Cracklin' Bran are also excellent sources.
3. Fresh or frozen lima beans, both Fordhook and baby limas
4. Fresh or frozen green peas
5. Dried fruit, topped by figs, apricots and dates
6. Raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
7. Sweet corn, whether on the cob or cut off in kernels
8. Whole-wheat and other whole-grain cereal products - Rye, oats, buckwheat and stone  ground cornmeal are all high in fiber. Bread, pastas, pizzas, pancakes and muffins made with whole-grain flours.
9. Broccoli-very high in fiber.
10. Baked potato with the skin - (The skin when crisp is the best part for fiber.) Mashed and boiled potatoes are good, too-but not french fries, which contain a high percentage of fat.
11. Green snap beans, pole beans, and broad beans
12. Plums, pears, and apples - The skin is edible, and are all high in pectin.
13. Raisins and prunes - Not as high on the list as other dried fruits (see #5) but very valuable.
14. Greens - Including spinach, beet greens, kale, collards, swiss chard and turnip greens.
15. Nuts - Especially almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, and walnuts (Consume these sparingly, because of their high fat content.).
16. Cherries
17. Bananas
18. Carrots
19. Coconut - dried or fresh-but both are high in fat content.
20. Brussels sprouts


This article is to remind and urge each one of us to include as much Dietary Fiber as we can and more if possible, in our regular diet. 



List of Marathoners - 
Diabetes Diet/Management: SrivalliChampaMePJ
Kid Friendly Recipes: KalyaniShylajaVeena
Seven Days of Soup:UshaSowmya
30 Minutes Meals: Priya Suresh 
Seven days of Cakes:  Anusha

If you have missed any of the previous days of the current edition of Blogging Marathon here they are -


Posted by Harini on Friday, April 8, 2011

10 comments

  1. Champa Says:
  2. Very nice post Harini.

     
  3. Srivalli Says:
  4. Very informative post Harini, sometime back I made a verison with whole urad dal idli..waiting to make it agian..

     
  5. Sarah Says:
  6. Wonderful post! I didn't know some of these information about food esp the one about soaking dried beans for 24 hours

     
  7. Usha Says:
  8. Nice post Harini! I didn't know either that beans need to be soaked for 24 hours.

     
  9. nice and useful post..good job..

     
  10. nice informative post dear :)

     
  11. very nice post.

     
  12. Priya Says:
  13. Useful post,came to know more about the high fiber foods, wonderful job..

     
  14. Nice informative post

     
  15. Gita Says:
  16. Hello Harini & Jaya,

    What a meaningful and healthy blog I have just stumbled upon!!!!!! I really mean it...I have been surfing your blog for about 4 days in a row and still keep reading.....I could see almost any sweet recipe in here and almost any veggie recipe in here and almost going that extra step to make every recipe as healthy as possible....I appreciate the wide array of veggie recipes upped by the protein factor by with the addition of crushed peanuts and other protein sources....I could relate this to your diabetes blogging as the dieticians advise diabetics to include a protein in every meal and snack.....Well..way to go girls....I am definitely referring this site to many of my friends.......

     
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