While at the grocery store, have you noticed that you have more choices than ever from food manufacturers? Low-fat, high-protein, low-sodium, and especially high-fiber foods have become the growing trend impacting our shopping carts, taste buds and our health. High fiber is no longer the ‘neglected nutrient’. Its role in healthy lifestyles has become the buzzword for today’s health-conscious consumer. The whole-grain trend has apparently surpassed the low carb movement. Fiberlady says it’s about time.
Continued research encourages the food industry to develop whole-grain products that are more appealing and acceptable to you and me. By exploring new technology for grain-processing, the texture and taste of whole-grain products is being altered. There is currently marketed a fiber-enriched flour that tastes and has a similar texture of white bread. The mounting presence of dietary fiber in our food sources should easily satisfy a wide range of dietary needs, tastes and choices.
Fiberlady has curiously noticed foods such as cereals, breads and pastas, the once dreaded low-carbs, have now become the darlings of health-conscious, high-fiber food fans. There are good carbs that not only help you with weight loss and control, but also protect your health.
“The percentage of products being marketed as fiber-enriched has increased from 2.3 percent in 2000, 2.5 percent in 2001, 2.8 percent in 2002, 3 percent in 2003, to 4.2 percent this year,” comments Tom Vierhile, the executive editor of Productscan Online. “Four years of consective growth is pretty good evidence of a trend.” The revisions in the new food pyramid will help promote the trend for high fiber foods and high-fiber diets as well.
The daily recommendation of dietary fiber by nutritional experts is 20-35 grams. Studies support over and over again the health benefits of consuming high fiber foods. A high fiber diet helps to protect and prevent cardiovascular disease, reduces the risk of some cancers,aids in weight loss,lowers cholesterol levels, and helps regulate diabetes and high blood pressure.
Fiberlady recognizes that we have come along way in the evolution of our species, but we didn’t get this far by eating highly-refined, processed foods. Fast food for our ancestors meant grabbing an apple off the nearest tree. There was an undeniable instinct for nutrient-rich fibrous plants.
Today, we descendants of the apes eat barely enough high-fiber foods to keep a monkey in bananas. There is a challenging road ahead to redefine overly-refined foods. The food industry needs to consciously bridge the gap in nutritional awareness among consumers. Informative websites are abundant and can address all of your high fiber questions and/or doubts.
Fiberlady wants you to raise your high fiber IQ and do the same for the people you care about, choose high fiber foods. Even if you have to read every nutritional fact on every food label on the grocer’s shelf, choose high fiber foods. Think about the alternative.
Stephanie Shank (a.k.a. Fiberlady) has studied good nutrition since her days of mothering began 15 years ago which prompted her commitment to a high fiber lifestyle and the development of her informative website High Fiber Health.