Protocol for Dietary Fiber Use (2003)


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Fiber is elongated, threadlike structures in fruits, vegetables and grains that cannot be digested. 

Dietary fiber plays a role in many things besides fecal bulk and stool frequency.  Use of dietary fiber may have positive impact on satiety, obesity and the absorption of certain sugars.  Soluble fiber may slow digestion and absorption of carbohydrates possibly preventing wide swings ins blood sugar levels (especially important in diabetes and hypoglycemia).  Adequate fiber can help achieve a full sensation and may hamper the absorption of calorie-dense dietary fat.


  • Dietary need for fiber
    • A healthy adult body needs about 25-30 grams of fiber daily (about 12 grams for every 1000 calories consumed)
    • The average American consumes about 10 grams daily
    • Start with small amounts and build up slowly making sure to be drinking enough water (if you start with too much too fast you may have bloating and intestinal gas and discomfort…a be gentle).
    • Eat a wide variety of fiber foods
    • There is NO dietary fiber in meat fish, eggs, poultry or milk

  • Insoluble Fiber (is like a scrub brush)

    • Does not dissolve in waqter and passes through your digestive tarct unchanged (it is not degraded by bacteria in your colon).
    • 65-75% of dietary fiber is insoluble.
    • Common sources are bran (the outer covering of corn, barley, rice, wheat and oats), cereals, ground flax seeds, edible skins of fruits and vegetables, celery, brown rice, and some vegetables.
    • Types of insoluble fiber include
      • Cellulose: whole wheat flour, unprocessed bran, cabbage, peas, green beans, wax beans, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and cucumbers with the skin on.
      • Hemicellulose: bran cereals, whole grains, brussel sprouts, mustard greens,  and beets
      • Lignins: bran cereals, flax seeds, strawberries, unprocessed bran, pears, eggplant, green beans, radishes
    • Accelerates transit time which causes more regular bowel movements, increases fecal weight and bulk (which causes decreased strain on the bowels), slows starch hydrolysis, delays glucose absorption.
    • The use of insoluble fiber results in softer larger feces with increased frequency of defecation.
    • As the feces moves through your intestine they scour intestinal walls removing waste matter.

    • Reasons to use insoluble fiber
      • Relieve constipation
      • Prevent intestinal disorders           ii.     Prevent intestinal cancer

  • Soluble Fiber (is like a sponge)

    • Dissolves in water and is degraded by bacteria in your colon.
    • Acts as a sponge.
    • Forms gel-like consistency in water.
    • Common sources are beans, corn, oats, barley, peas, Brussel sprouts,

lentils, carrots, cabbage, okra, apricots, prunes, dates, blackberries,

cranberries, seeds, apples, bananas, citrus fruits, psyllium, certain gums

and seaweed (and others).

    • Increases stool volume and stool water content.
    • Forms gel in intestines which regulates the flow of waste material through your digestive tract.
    • Delays absorption of glucose.
    • Binds bile acids in the stool (resulting in less re-absorption and forcing the liver to break down cholesterol to make more bile acids thus lowering cholesterol levels). 
    • It also may binds hormones in the stool, preventing re-absorption and thus helping to balance their levels.
    • Start fiber in small amounts and gradually increase to prevent bloating and gas.
    • You MUST have adequate water intake when using fiber (the more fiber, the more water you need).
    • Reasons to use soluble fiber
      • Lower blood cholesterol (increases passage of bile salts in the stool)
      • Control blood sugar (diabetes)
  • Adding fiber to your diet

    • Drink enough water
    • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables daily.  Fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber include apples, oranges, broccoli, cauliflower, berries, pears, brussel sprouts, lettuce, figs, prunes, carrots and potatoes.
    • Switch from refined white bread to unrefined whole-grain breads and cereals.  Switch from white rice to brown rice.
    • In general eat lots of unrefined whole foods.
    • Eat dry bran cereals for breakfast.  Check the labels.
    • Add ground flax seed to your food (cereals, casseroles, salads, blender drinks)
    • Eat beans regularly
    • Consider a fiber supplement













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