Sunday, March 22, 2009

Do you eat enough fiber?

axafiberlunch-0901

Probably not. I know I don't. At least now I know, I should say, because I attended a talk about fiber hosted by Axa, a Swedish producer of various grain products. They've recently launched two lines of functional food, one which is more heart-friendly and one which is more digestion-friendly, and had a lunch to present these new products.

axafiber

The products are perfectly fine, but what really stuck in my mind was this tray. It shows how much fiber we should eat. Daily.

thismuchfiber

That's one serving of fiber-rich pasta. One serving of müesli. Three pieces of fruit. A carrot. Two slices of crisp bread, and one of dark rye. And a serving of chickpeas or other fiber-rich pulses. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty happy if I just have coarse bread with my breakfast. This was an eye-opener!

Not one that's likely to change my eating habits though, since I'm pretty happy with my fiber intake, but perhaps it's worth considering if you're having digestion or heart issues - fiber can be really good for you!

11 comments:

DaviMack said...

Even if you don't have any health issues, lowering your cholesterol can have benefits: it's been shown that people who take plant-based sterols (to lower cholesterol) have improvements in memory function. So ... eating fiber may make you smarter, eventually. ;)

Anonymous said...

it is better to use "fiber" and not "fibers" in English. "fibers" sounds like threads. In English just the singular form is used in the sense of nutrition fibre.

all the best,
Anna

Mami said...

Det finns olika läger vad gäller rekomendationer av fibrer OCH om de icke-lösliga egentligen har så stor funktion som typ AXA vill få oss att tro.
De vattenlösliga fibrerna är ju så mycket lättare att få med i maten och - i mitt tycke- så mycket godare. Så mår du bra - så äter du mest troligt tillräckligt.

Mikael Jansson said...

Lowering your cholesterol too low is also a way to get diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

The Swedish Heart Foundation (Hjärt-lungfonden) did after-all cancel their cooperation with Unilever based on the fact that there is no evidence that Becel (the margerine with plant-based sterols) is actually good for you.

The factoid that fibre is good for you has not been, and probably will never be, scientifically proven. Case in point: a high fibre intake was shown to reduce the risk for cancer, except in smokers. Now, why is that? Epidemological studies can only imply association, never causality...

See Andreas Eenfeldt's Kostdoktorn.se if you're interested in healthy eating!

Anne said...

Certainly a hot topic, this one! :) There's definitely not a consensus amongst scientists either, so I suppose it's up to each of us to form our own opinions.

I personally would never go on a high-fat-low-carb-diet if I had a choice - it might be healthy (or not) but it's just way too limiting for me. I think I'll stick to eating everything - in moderation, of course.

Camille Acey said...

I think the "need" for fiber (especially cheap grain-based fiber) is extremely over-rated.
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/fiber/

It's important to be careful about packaged items (I can't even bring myself to call most of it food) that tout themselves as being "healthy"; the healthiest things often have no packaging at all.

Anne said...

Camille - that's a very good point! :)

mina said...

my mom just found out she has diabetes, so she's laying off the sweets and eating more whole grains. this makes her miserable since she loves white rice and noodles. might also have something to do with traditions of korean social status where eating white rice meant you are well-off...

i was once on a low carb diet and i did lose a lot of weight but it drove me crazy!! and i couldn't keep it up for long. the way i feel best is changing my eating habits altogether by, yes, eating more fiber of whole grains, fruits, and veggies. (:

Camille Acey said...

Minah,
Your mom (and you) might be interested to read this information on diabetes -
http://www.marksdailyapple.com/diabetes/

The rampant diabetes in my family is part of the reason why I am doing my best to go primal. From what I understand, as my body adjusts to going without carbs the less cravings I will have. It may be that you didn't stick with low-carb long enough/weren't eating the right things (those "low-carb" products are often just junk).

I definitely kinda miss rice (my family is from Africa and that is a staple for us) but I am really enjoying exploring my many new food options!

Mikael Jansson said...

From what I understand, as my body adjusts to going without carbs the less cravings I will have.

Yes, you will.

They just disappear; though it might take a week or two for some.

Murasaki Shikibu said...

It's true it's almost impossible to eat the recommended amount of fiber without letting fiber rule your life. I try to eat some fruit and vegetables in the course of the day and 'try' to eat more fiber but beyond that...