Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A new healthier you! A few random thoughts...

Healthy is beautiful.  We all know this.  As I was eating a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries earlier this morning I was thinking about Benefiber because I poured some in my coffee (since I have a ton of it from recent sales) and the difference between insoluble and soluble fiber.  I know both are super beneficial but I was wondering which one Benefiber was and which fiber is "better."  Turns out they are both good and they both do different things for the body. 

I found this site which gives a simple breakdown.

So the function of INSOLUBLE fiber are to move bulk through the intestines, which sounds disgusting but hey, it's life!  It also controls and balances acidity in the intestines.  Too much base or too much acid is bad, balance is key.  There are many benefits including the promotion of regular bowel movements and the prevention constipation.  Did you ever see that episode of Dr. Oz when he was talking about BM's?  Check it out here.  Love Dr. Oz!

INSOLUBLE fiber also removes toxic wastes through the colon in less time and helps prevent colon cancer by keeping an optimal pH in the intestines to prevent microbes from producing cancerous substances.  Phew! Sounds like a win-win to me!

So how do you get INSOLUBLE fiber?  Your veggies of course!  Green beans and dark green leafy vegetables but also fruit skins and root vegetable skins.  So whole apples, don't peel the skin! Whole-wheat products, wheat bran, corn bran, seed and nuts.

Now SOLUBLE fiber is a little different.  It is also super beneficial and it's the fiber that's in Benefiber.  SOLUBLE fiber binds with fatty acids and prolongs stomach emptying time so that sugar is released and absorbed more slowly, so basically you stay satiated longer.  I'm all for that. 
Benefits of SOLUBLE fiber are numerous.  It lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) therefore reducing the risk of heart disease and regulates blood sugar for people with diabetes.  Super important people!!!

Besides Benefiber, you can find SOLUBLE fiber in oats and oat bran, like my bowl of oatmeal this morning, dried beans and peas, nuts, barley, flax seed, fruits such as oranges and apples, and vegetables such as carrots.

So it looks like I am getting plenty of SOLUBLE fiber but I need to work on the INSOLUBLE fiber.

Now I was looking into the difference between Metamucil and Benefiber.  Both offer fiber that is completely disolvable and non-gritty.  You can pour some into a glass of water and it will disolve completely and clear.  Trust me.  Benefiber is from wheat dextrin and Metamucil is psyllium fiber. 

What's the difference? 

Wheat dextrin is a fiber made from wheat starch. Dextrins are defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a food ingredient manufactured from the starch of plant foods, including corn, potato or wheat. Psyllium comes from the seed husks of a plant identified as plantago ovata, which grows in Pakistan and India. Its use as an herbal remedy to relieve GI problems dates back centuries.

Read more: Difference Between Wheat Dextrin and Psyllium Husk


Both wheat dextrin and psyllium are water soluble fibers. They will pull water from your body, so it is essential to stay well-hydrated when you consume them. You must drink adequate water when taking soluble fibers. Additionally, psyllium can be difficult to swallow, due to its thick consistency, and should be avoided by those who have difficulty swallowing.

Read more: Difference Between Wheat Dextrin and Psyllium Husk
So there you have it!!!