Feb, 11
2016

The Importance of Fiber

importance-of-fiber


There is a lot of talk about fats––good fats, bad fats, oils, and whether to include them or avoid them in your diet. Carbohydrates, too, are the subject of much discourse, including whether to eat them, how much and how often you should enjoy them, or whether to avoid them entirely. Protein also gets mentioned quite a bit, often in a positive light. However, among the macronutrients, fiber likely enjoys the least popular reputation, but this is because in the discussion of those nutrients, it likely gets mentioned the least.

Fiber is a critical nutrient for health, because it plays a number of important dietary roles. Fiber aides in maintaining healthy elimination via bowel movements. Though this might seem like an unglamorous job, regular elimination of wastes is critical to maintaining optimum health overall and health in the bowel. Fiber’s role does not stop with maintaining regularity. Fiber is also known to promote heart health, including aiding in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Fiber is also thought to help in controlling blood sugar and aid in maintaining a healthy weight. All of these things considered, you would think that fiber would get more attention than it does!

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There are two kinds of fiber found in food––soluble fiber, which is soluble in water––this kind is thought to promote healthy blood sugar and cholesterol. The second kind of fiber is insoluble fiber, which does not dissolve in water. Insoluble fiber is known to aid in regularity. Notable foods high in different kinds of fiber include oats, peas, beans, apples, carrots, certain whole grains, nuts and vegetables such as cauliflower.

You’ll notice many of the foods listed, such as the whole grains, are not allowed on the Phase One Diet. This is, perhaps, one of the biggest critiques of the Phase One Diet: why are so many foods high in fiber not allowed? The short answer is that grains run the risk of mycotoxin contamination––therefore, the risk associated with consuming grains outweighs the benefits of the fiber content, particularly when that fiber content can be gleaned elsewhere from the diet. Many foods high in dietary fiber are included on the Phase one Diet, such as nuts, vegetables and carrots. As you graduate to the Phase Two Diet, more foods high in fiber become available to you.

As you think about what foods to enjoy while on the Phase one Diet, do not forget to include foods containing fiber––including fiber in your diet will help you maintain optimum health.



 

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