Fiber Research

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is very important to the human digestive process. Fiber is found in the outer layer of plants. (Van Horn, PhD, RD, 1997) Eating fiber slows the digestion process and absorption process. This will enable the sugar in the foods to enter the bloodstream more slowly. This also helps to keep the blood sugar on a more even level.
Some examples of food sources of dietary fiber are cooked beans such as kidney beans and pinto beans. Dietary fiber is found in cooked vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and zucchini. Raw fruits such as apples, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, and prunes all have dietary fiber in them. Grains like dry oatmeal, dry oat bran, corn flakes, cooked brown rice, whole wheat bread, and white bread all contain dietary fiber. (Van Horn, PhD, RD, 1997)
Dietary fiber can be broken down into two different groups. One group is soluble fiber and the other is insoluble fiber. The difference between the two is that insoluble fiber cannot be dissolved in water and soluble fiber can. Soluble fibers reduce LDL or bad cholesterol levels better than diets in low fats and cholesterol. Insoluble fiber decreases the risk of cardiovascular disease in those individuals who are high risk. (American Heart Association, 2010)
The fiber recommendations for children are much different than it is for adults. As an adult eating 1500 calories or more you should have a fiber intake of at least 25 grams. There is a rule for children which is the “age plus 5” rule meaning you take the child’s age and add 5 to it. An example of this rule is a child who is 6 years old should consume 11 grams of fiber because 6 + 5=11 grams of fiber. This will change when the child’s caloric intake changes to that of an adult. (Van Horn, PhD, RD, 1997)
I learned a lot about fiber from reading this article. I did not know about the age plus five rule for children. This rule will help guide me when reading labels and preparing meals for my daughter....