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A Designed Principal: Nutrition & Fiber
by Nancy Schmieder

The Standard American Diet (SAD) has been shifting, resulting in dramatic changes in the health of the American people. Today more calories come from sugar (simple carbohydrates) than from starch (complex carbohydrates) and more than one third of the calories come from fat. Americans are eating too much of nearly everything - too much sugar, too much fat, too much cholesterol and too much salt. We are paying a high price for privilege.....in needless disease, disability and premature death.

People used to think that refinement was good because it got rid of useless roughage. Now we are learning how necessary fiber is in protecting us from certain cancers, stabilizing blood sugar, controlling weight, and preventing gastrointestinal problems such as gallstones, hemorrhoids, diverticulitis and constipation.? As we learn that refinement robs food of most of its fiber and nutrients, and processing adds calories, subtracts nutrition, and contributes scores of chemical additives, we may be willing to make the changes. People are realizing that meat and dairy products should be used sparingly. While they carry nutrients, most are too high in fat, cholesterol, protein, and calories, are loaded with hormones and pesticides, and contain virtually no fiber.

We should be eating more complex carbohydrates---whole plant foods. People know it and science confirms it. The road to better health and longer life detours around fast-food outlets and depleted foods. Instead, the road leads us back to the gardens and farmlands of our country—fresh fruits, crisp vegetables and kernels of golden grain.

The principle NUTRITION has many features. We will be covering one feature at a time to make our journey together smoother. At times we will be taking a pause from the principle NUTRITION and taking a look a one of the other principles listed in the acronym “NEWSTART”. It is important to start adding some of the other principle into our lifestyle before we can discuss all the aspects of NUTRITION. We will be stopping along the way to take a peek at some of the lifestyle diseases that have been caused by Western thinking. We will also be talking about the “essentials” to help us implement the principles into our individual program.

Remember, it may not be as hard as you think. A healthy lifestyle is only a choice away. Success begins with the small choices that make a big difference.



The most essential change one could make in their eating pattern is to include more fiber in ones diet. Fiber is an important step in the journey to better health. When foods are refined, 22 vitamins and minerals are lost during the refining process.

What is Fiber? Fiber is the framework of plants.


There are many kinds of fiber that fall into two categories: those that dissolve in water (soluble fiber) and those that don’t (insoluble fiber). All fiber foods contain water insoluble fiber. This is the fiber that helps the food move through the colon faster. It also may protect against colon cancer, diverticulitis, and hemorrhoids. Food sources include whole grains, vegetables, fruits (especially berries), beans, nuts, seeds.

Soluble fiber on the other hand, is the type that affects blood cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber attaches itself to cholesterol and other by-products of fat digestion, and pulls them right out of the body. Without soluble fiber’s action most of the leftover cholesterol is reabsorbed into the blood stream, adding to the already high levels in most Westerners. Food sources include fruits, beans, and oats.

Where do we find Fiber? Fiber is abundant in all unrefined plant foods. Eating a variety of
fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans) assures you of getting a plentiful supply that the body needs. Surprisingly, animal foods do not contain any fiber. Neither does juice. And since animal products make up more than 30 percent of the calories of the Standard American Diet, and much of the rest comes from sugars and other refined foods, the result is that most Westerners get less than one third of the fiber they need each day. Fiber is not something you can sprinkle on a plate of steak and eggs and make it ok. It would take a whole bottle of fiber pills to supply the fiber contained in a bowl of whole-grain cereal topped with strawberries. Fiber-poor foods are hazardous to your health. Focus on whole-grain cereals and breads, fresh fruit and vegetables, and plenty of beans and other legumes. This is the healthiest, safest, cheapest and best way to get the fiber you need.

Why Eat Fiber Foods?

1. They control your appetite. They fill you up, and keep you full longer. Fiber helps reduce between meal snacking. Creates energy. Reduces your craving for sweets

2. Help you Reach and Maintain Your Healthy Weight. Fiber foods are low in calories. Fiber foods also boost your metabolism and speed the burning of calories. Readjusts hormones - one of these hormones is THYROID HORMONE. Below your Adam's apple, your thyroid gland manufactures a hormone called T4, so named because it has four iodine atoms attached. This hormone has two possible fates: It can be converted into the active form of thyroid hormone called T3, which boosts your metabolism and keeps your body burning calories or it can be converted into an active hormone called REVERSE T3. This results in slowed metabolism. Diets rich in complex carbohydrates means more T4 converted to T3 and your metabolism gets a good BOOST. Diets low in complex carbohydrates means more T4 converted to REVERSE T3 and slowed metabolism.

3. Provides Vitamins, Minerals, Antioxidants, and Phytochemicals.

4. Enhances your Immune System

5. Provides Balance by slowing down the rate at which nutrients enter the bloodstream. This helps smooth out the ups and downs of blood sugar levels which helps to balance blood sugar levels and provides more consistent energy throughout the day. A stabilized blood sugar relieves most hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and aids in the control of diabetes (high blood sugar). Helps to balance hormones associated with PMS and menopause. Helps balance blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber attaches itself to cholesterol and other by-products of fat digestion and pulls them right out of the body.

6. You will have a Healthy Digestion. Reduces constipation. Reduces the risk of colon disease.

7. Slows the aging process


Simple Ways to Increase Your Fiber:

~Eat more Whole Grains. Choose whole grain breads and pasta. Eat them at every meal.

~Eat more High-fiber Cereals. Eat oatmeal, seven grain cereal, or other hot cereals for breakfast. Choose cold cereals that are high in fiber. Eat more Fruit. Eat fruit for desert. Eat two different fruits for breakfast each morning.

~Eat more Vegetables. Eat more vegetables with your meals. Eat at least three vegetables for supper.

~Eat more Beans. Put beans in your salads. The more you eat beans the easier it will be for you to digest beans. Start with small quantities and slowly increase the number of times per week that you eat them. Chew them thoroughly.


(The recommended daily intake: 30-50 grams of dietary fiber)

~Beans 1 c 16 grams
~Whole grains 1 c 4-6 grams
~Raw vegetables 2 c 6-9 grams
~Cooked vegetables. 1 c 6-9 grams
~Fruit 1c 4- 10 grams
~Meat and juice = 0 fiber


~Bread -at least 2 grams of Dietary Fiber per slice
~Ready to eat cereal--at least 3-5 grams of Dietary Fiber per serving.


Start replacing fiber-free foods with fiber-filled foods in your diet. It is easy to get enough fiber when you are choosing more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans.

And remember Health is by Choice - not by chance! The choice is yours. You don’t have to be a statistic. By adopting a better diet and wiser lifestyle habits, you can live longer, feel better and enjoy a healthier, more productive life.


Nancy Schmieder works with the Better Living Ministries in Wayland, NY as a Certified Lifestyle Consultant and Specialist. The Better Living Ministries is a Community Resource for Lifestyle Education and Support. Health by Choice is a practical, simple journey on how to incorporate healthy habits into your lifestyle. Nancy is a Mother of five and she lives with her family in Springwater , NY. Her e-mail address is n.schmieder@frontiernet.net

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