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
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.
ONE STEP AT A TIME: WHAT TO DO?
THE WONDERS OF FIBER
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.
KINDS OF FIBER
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,
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
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
6. You will have a Healthy Digestion. Reduces constipation.
Reduces the risk of colon disease.
7. Slows the aging process
APPLICATION: HOW TO
Simple Ways to Increase Your Fiber:
~Eat more Whole
Grains. Choose whole grain breads and pasta. Eat them at every
~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.
HIGH FIBER FOODS
(The recommended daily intake: 30-50 grams of dietary fiber)
~Beans 1 c 16
~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
YOUR CHALLENGE: YOU
CAN DO IT !
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
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