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Does Your Gluten-Free Diet Contain Enough Fiber?

Posted Feb 04 2011 12:13pm

There’s a lot of confusion out there about fiber. Many people on a gluten-free diet think they can’t get enough because they’ve eliminated wheat from their diet. That’s a myth. There are thousands of products lining your local grocery store shelves that can pack fiber into your daily gluten-free diet.

Before we get into what foods contain fiber, lets take a step back and understand what exactly fiber is and why it’s good for us.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, fiber refers to “carbohydrates that cannot be digested.” It’s present in all plants we eat for food such as vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains.

Fiber comes in two varieties, soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is typically found beans, fruits and legumes. Insoluble fiber is commonly referred to as the “gut-healthy fiber” and is best known for its ability to help support regularity, which helps maintain a healthy digestive system. As its name suggests, insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and is most often found in whole grain products and vegetables.

For decades researchers have recommended consumption of fiber as part of a healthy diet in hopes of staving off development of many common conditions including diabetes, heart disease, constipation, and diverticular diseases. Current recommendations suggest adults and children consume at least 20 grams of dietary fiber daily…that means getting it the natural way by eating food, not from nutritional supplements.

So how can you do it?

Although whole grain wheat bread, pasta and many nutrition bars are off limits for those on a gluten-free diet, there are thousands of possibilities for boosting your fiber intake while managing a gluten-free diet. And, the best way to do it is the natural way! 

Next time you head to the grocery store, fill your grocery cart with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as naturally gluten-free grains such as quinoa and brown rice. Lentils are a naturally gluten-free source of fiber that can be deliciously prepared in a number of soups, salads and side dishes. Instead of buying concentrated juices, try purchasing fresh fruits and squeezing your own juice at home.

If you’re not totally sold on bulking up on fresh fruits and vegetables, try some alternate fiber sources such as Fiber One yogurt. All of the yogurts are naturally gluten-free, low-calorie, packed with real fruit and contain 20 percent of your daily value of fiber.  Try topping the Fiber One yogurt with your favorite gluten-free granola for a great tasting yogurt parfait. Learn more at  http://www.fiberone.com/

 

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