Dietary fiber (DF) is the term given collectively to indigestible carbohydrates present in the plants foods. It is not present in animal products such as mutton, chicken, fish, egg etc.
Dietary fiber (DF) is the term given collectively to indigestible carbohydrates present in the plants foods. It is not present in animal products such as mutton, chicken, fish, egg etc. The dietary fiber is the sum of the polysaccharides and lignin which are not digested by the endogenous secretion of the human Gastro intestinal tract.
Depending on the solubility in water, dietary fiber is further divided into:
- Insoluble dietary fiber –IDF- (Non-Viscous, slowly fermentable)
- Soluble dietary fiber –SDF – (viscous and fermentable)
The sum of these 2 fractions is also known as total dietary fiber (TDF). The dietary fiber has physical properties such as water holding capacity and viscosity, where as physiological properties
include hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects. All the dietary fibers, regardless of the type are readily fermented by micro flora of the small intestines.
Insoluble Dietary Fiber: It acts like a sponge, absorbs water in the intestine and swells. After this action it almost passes unchanged through the intestine. The bulk and soft texture of the fiber help prevent hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass. This stimulates peristalsis so increases the transit time in the colon. They are useful in reducing the incidence of appendicitis, constipation, diverticulosis and colon cancers
Soluble dietary fiber: Dissolves in the water and forms a gel like texture in the intestine. SDF is effective in reducing the incidence of CHD, DM, and Obesity.
SDF blunts the response of blood glucose. It delays the secretions of the GI tract to reduce digestion of food material and
finally delaying the glucose absorption. It reduce the serum cholesterol by reducing the enterohepatic recycling of the bile acids resulting in the increase use of cholesterol for bile synthesis, which in turn alters enzyme activities related to cholesterol synthesis.
How to increase fiber in the diet?
The desirable fiber intake can be achieved by healthy people not by adding fiber concentrate in the diet, but by the consumption of fruits, vegetables legumes and whole grains cereals. These are excellent sources of fiber; also provide minerals, vitamins and phytochemcials.
- Begin the day by eating whole grain cereals that contains at least 5 gm of fiber / serving. ½ cup of bran contains 10gm of fiber.
- Take raw vegetables as much as possible.
- Avoid peeling the skin of fruits (such as apples) and vegetables (such as cucumber) because much of the fiber is found in the skin.
- Add peas, pulses, whole grains in soups and salads as they contain fiber 6-9gm / ½ cup.
- Eat fresh or dried fruits as snacks.
- To enhance the fiber intake in the diet, whole gram, whole wheat preparation should be included.
- Try and include 4 serving of vegetables and 2 serving of seasonal fruits in daily diet ( ½ cup = 1 serving).
- Do not sieve wheat and milled flour as it reduces the fiber content.
- Pop-corn is rich source of fiber. It is safe snacks when prepared without oil.
- Fluid works with fiber to aid digestion.
Increase physical activity (exercise) stimulates GI peristalsis and contributes to the prevention of constipation
Adverse effects of high fiber diet
If one eats large quantity of fruits and vegetables than required, they might tend to replace protein, carbohydrate, fats and mineral intake which are equally important for a healthy being. Eating more than 50gm fiber per day can interfere with mineral absorption, which leads to problems such as anemia and osteoporosis.
|Bread whole wheat||8||6.4||1.6|
|Pulses and legumes|
|Bengal gram, whole||28.3||25.2||3.1|
|Bengal gram, dal||15.3||12.7||2.6|
|Black gram, dhal||11.7||7.6||4.1|
|Black gram, whole||20.3||15.4||4.9|
|Green gram, dhal||8.2||6.5||1.7|
|Red gram, dal||9.1||6.8||2.3|
|Red gram, whole||22.6||19.8||2.8|
|Broad beans (lima)||19||17.8||1.2|
|Roots and tubers|
|Colocasia , green||6.6||5.1||1.5|
|Tamarind leaves, tender||10.6||9.4||1.2|
|Chocho Marrow/ Knol Knol||1.3||0.9||0.4|
|Potato with skin||3||1.8||1.2|
|Nuts and Oilseeds|
|Condiments & Spices|