Useful, interesting information about the Zone Diet plan.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Fiber, Demystified

(Zone Diet Advantage) -- Fiber can be confusing. Because the fiber-rich foods in our diet tend to be high in carbohydrates, many carb-adverse people simply don't get enough of this heart-healthy substance. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the average American consumes between 5 to 13 grams of fiber per day—while women should strive for 25 grams, and men should consume 38.

In fact, it is the unfavorable carbohydrate sources that tend to be low in fiber (think of highly processed snack foods, white-flour bread and pasta, fruit juices). By contrast, many of the Zone's favorable carb sources provide plenty of fiber. Indeed, it is the fiber in these foods that makes them desirable, because fiber works to reduce insulin production. "The amount of insulin your body will produce is based on only the amount of carbohydrate that actually enters into the bloodstream as the simply sugar glucose. And fiber doesn't count," explains Dr. Sears.

Got it? If you do, then you're ready for yet one more complicating fiber factor: Some of it is soluble (desirable), and some of it is insoluble (less desirable). Examples: The insoluble fiber in "healthy" breakfast cereals is easily broken down into pure glucose, which enters your bloodstream like a spoonful of sugar, whereas the soluble fiber in apples, for instance, acts as a "control rod" for glucose entering the blood.

Here are some foods that provide fiber and all its benefits, but without hiking insulin levels: oatmeal, broccoli, apples, red peppers, strawberries, whole citrus fruits.

(Learn more @ Zone Diet Advantage...)


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