…Hope we all survived Monday Fun-Day! On to some research…
Foods that naturally contain high amounts of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Over the past several years there has been huge efforts made towards increasing fiber in the diet from alternate sources such as yogurt (e.g. Yoplait’s Fiber One yogurt) and granola bars (e.g. General Mill’s Fiber One bars), to name a few. These fiber sources contain isolated or functional fiber ingredients such as inulin, maltodextrin, and polydextrose . The health benefits of these fiber sources remain to be seen. Mayo Clinic dietitian, Jennifer Nelson, states, “They have not necessarily been studied to see if they’re beneficial .”
Naturally-occurring fiber, dietary fiber, contains powerful cholesterol-lowering effects. Dietary fiber also decreases the glycemic index of foods, a most desirable feature among diabetics and the insulin resistant. Further, dietary fiber aids in preventing constipation and reduces the risk of hemorrhoids and diverticulosis . And lastly, a high-fiber diet helps to improve satiety, an important piece to any weight-loss or weight maintenance endeavor.
Fiber One bars are a perfect example of why label reading is crucial. While a 1.4-ounce breakfast bar contains a whopping 9 grams of fiber – nearly a third of the daily recommended intake – the product also contains chicory root extract (inulin), high-fructose corn syrup, and maltodextrin. Unfortunately, none of the “dietary” fiber in Fiber One bars comes from a natural, whole grain source.
While this post is not intended to slam Fiber One bars (truly!), I am simply trying to emphasize a diet rich in naturally-occurring high-fiber foods – whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes. While the jury is out on the efficacy of inulin, malrodextrin, and polydextrose, I recommend sticking to the tried and true fiber sources!
Remember 25 to 35 grams a day…every day! 😉
And in other news, we tried (and loved) another new recipe tonight…
Crockpot Cranberry-Chipotle Chicken
1 cup chopped onion
1 15 oz. can black beans (rinsed/drained)
1 15 oz. can cannellini beans (rinsed/drained)
1 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. skinless/boneless chicken breasts
1 16 oz. can whole cranberry sauce
1 small can chipotle chili pepper in adobo sauce
1 tbs. lime juice
salt/pepper to taste
Layer everything in the crock pot (chicken, onions, tomatoes, beans). Mix the broth, cumin, cinnamon, garlic, cranberry sauce, chipotle peppers and lime juice in large bowl. Pour over all. Cook on low for 8 hours or on low for 4 hours. Yield: 5 servings.
Nutrition Information (per serving): 380 calories; 3.3 g. fat; 30 g. protein; 625 mg. sodium; 11.4 g. fiber; 59.6 g. carbohydrate
This recipe is not for the temperature weenie! It is hot-say-tot-say!
. Conis, Elena. All Fibers May Not Be Created Equal. The Los Angeles Times. January 11, 2010.
Question: Have you heard of inulin before? Do you know of any research in support of isolated or functional fibers ability to lower cholesterol?
And on a lighter note…do you watch The Bachelor? Team Jake or Team No-way Mr. Perfect?
Giveaway over at Eat Move Love — a Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook!