Reach Your Fiber Goals the Whole Food Way
Article by Garden of Life
Perhaps the most talked about nutritional component, fiber has become
one of the most sought after food ingredients. But as much as we hear
about fiber, do we really take full advantage of all the wonderful
health benefits it offers?
A typical American diet lacks the necessary amount of fiber. Lack of
fiber is a growing health risk and has been implemented in the
development of a wide variety of health issues. A diet low in fat and
high in fiber-containing grain products, fruits, and vegetables can
contribute to GI tract regulation, preventing coronary heart disease
and is even associated with a reduced risk of some types of cancer.
So what is your daily fiber consumption? Savvy consumers are
accustomed to looking at the Nutritional or Supplement Facts and
comparing the fiber content of foods. However, one should remember
that the percentage of Daily Value that accompanies the amount of
fiber per serving on the label is based on the minimum amount of the
nutrient required to avoid deficiency, and is based on a 2,000 calorie
diet. Thus, the Daily Value set for dietary fiber by the FDA is 25g
per day for adults. However, most health authorities agree that adults
should consume at least 30g of fiber a day, preferably 28 to 32, and
even 35g. That’s up to 10g of fiber a day that might be missing from
your diet if you are only set to achieve Daily Value benchmark!
What are we to do? First, set a daily fiber amount goal, which should
be between 30 and 35 g a day. Discuss this number with your physician
or a dietitian, especially if you are under medical supervision. Then
take a critical look at your diet and estimate your current daily
fiber intake. The amount of fiber is clearly displayed on the
nutritional panel of your grocery items. For produce, please refer to
nutritional guides, such as the USDA website (usda.gov).
Once you know how much fiber is missing from your diet, you may
utilize the following strategies.
1. Diet adjustment - Since all fiber is plant-derived, it all boils
down to consuming enough fruits, vegetables and unrefined grains. With
fruits and vegetables, 5 serving a day is a minimum, 9 is a gold
standard. When it comes to grains and seeds, give preference to
“whole” grains vs. conventional, usually highly refined breads, pastas
and cereals. Make these adjustments and see how many grams of fiber a
day you have gained. And of course, limit fat intake.
2. Dietary Supplements - In order to provide a significant amount of
fiber in a supplement, the delivery form is most likely to be a
powder, mixable with water or a juice (however, be aware of the added
sugar in some of the juice-based beverages). Such powder could also be
added to a cereal, a smoothie, almost anything. Using supplementation,
it is easy to achieve the 30-35g a day level of fiber. But which
supplement to use?
Your choices include two types of fiber products. First, the “pharmacy
isle” type fibers, such as psyllium fiber, and lately, a variety of
“clear”, completely water-soluble maltodextrin-based fiber products.
You could call them “fiber isolates”. Just like chemically pure
isolated vitamins are taken out of the food matrix where they are
accompanied by co-factors and “satellite compounds”, isolated fibers
deliver just that, - fiber. These products do have some pluses. They
are usually tasteless and mix easy. However, isolates are just that,
isolated nutrients that do not offer the same benefits of whole food
nutrients and therefore many health organizations do not suggest
Unlike these conventional types of fiber supplements, Garden of Life
Super Seed, a whole-food fiber supplement that contains
organically grown foods, fermented and sprouted grains and legumes and
delivers live beneficial probiotic cultures. We are not proponents of
separating just one nutritional component of the plant from other its
naturally occurring beneficial constituents. This latter thinking,
although results in higher concentration of the chosen component (i.e.
fiber), strips the food, and essentially, you, the consumer of the
benefits of the whole plant, the way nature intended.
For example, a serving of
Super Seed provides over 1 gram of omega-3
fatty acid ALA, thanks to flax and chia which are naturally abundant
in this healthful oil. The same serving provides 7grams of protein,
thanks to fermented and sprouted seeds and legumes, a true nutritional
“surprise” for a fiber supplement. And, finally, the total dietary
fiber content per serving of
Super Seed is 7 grams.
Organic Daily Fiber™ is a USDA certified organic fiber supplement that
naturally supports cleansing for a healthy digestive environment. It
is formulated with 100% certified organically grown flax seed and pea
hull fiber, alfalfa and barley grasses plus chia seed. Organic Daily
Fiber™ is an excellent source of dietary fiber, providing 5 grams and
20% of the Daily Value in a balanced ratio of soluble to insoluble
fiber. It helps entrap toxins such as metals, lead, mercury and other
environmental pollutants within the gastrointestinal tract for removal
from the body. Organic Daily Fiber™ is 100% gluten free and contains
no psyllium or harsh laxatives. It contains a unique combination of
organic fibers that resists breakdown and fermentation by intestinal
flora and will not re circulate toxins into the body. It is also the
“Capture” fiber formula in the
Perfect Cleanse kit.