Dietary fiber is the component found in many foods that cannot be digested by the intestinal tract. Adequate fluid intake is important when following a high fiber diet due to water binding capacity of fiber. Fiber should be increased in the diet slowly to avoid unpleasant side effects (gas, abdominal bloating, cramps). Dietary fiber can be divided into two separate categories: Water insoluble fiber and water soluble fiber. Water Insoluble Fiber: Water insoluable components, such as cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin, remain essentially unchanged during digestion. Foods containing water-insoluble fiber include: fruits, vegetables, cereals, and whole grain products. Research suggests that insoluble fiber may be beneficial in the prevention and / or treatment of constipation and diverticular disease and may decrease the risk of colon cancer. Water Soluble Fiber: Water soluble fiber, such as gum, pectin and mucilages, does dissolve in water and is found in oats, beans, barley and some fruits and vegetables. Some studies showed that this type of fiber may improve blood glucose and cholesterol levels.
Causes of Fiber-enhanced Diet
The high fiber diet is adequate in all nutrients. Some studies indicate that excessive consumption of some high fiber foods may bind and decrease the absorption of the following minerals: calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, selenium, and zinc. However, it it theorized that with a varied, well balanced diet, mineral or nutrient imbalances are unlikely to happen in those consuming a high fiber diet.
Signs and Symptoms of Fiber-enhanced Diet
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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