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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Diet High in Fiber Might Lengthen Your Life

A study was released in the Feb. 14 online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine that found that eating lots of whole grains reduced risk of dying from any cause. There are many health benefits to eating fiber, including reducing the risk of heart disease and some cancers. To read the whole news story, visit http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_108805.html (this link is only active for 60 days from today).

Here are some foods that are high in fiber:

Beans, artichokes, sweet potatoes, berries, prunes, spinach
Bran muffins, Oatmeal, Bran or multiple-grain cereals, (cooked or dry), Brown rice, Popcorn, 100% whole-wheat bread

You should add fiber to your diet slowly. Increasing dietary fiber too quickly can lead to gas, bloating and cramps.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends increasing the amount of whole grains in your diet. The guidelines are a great resource to help you find foods that are good for you and they will help you figure out how much of each type of food you need in your diet.

Here are some tips from the guidelines:

- Reduce intake of solid fats (major sources of saturated and trans fatty acids).
- Replace solid fats with oils (major sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids) when possible.
- Reduce intake of added sugars.
- Reduce intake of refined grains and replace some refined grains with whole grains.
- Reduce intake of sodium (major component of salt).
- If consumed, limit alcohol intake to moderate levels.
- Increase intake of vegetables and fruits.
- Increase intake of whole grains.
- Increase intake of milk and milk products and replace whole milk and full-fat milk products with fat-free or low-fat choices to reduce solid fat intake. Increase seafood intake by replacing some meat or poultry with seafood

Here are some other great links to check out:

Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

Fiber: Start Roughing It! (Harvard School of Public Health)

Why Is It Important to Eat Grains, Especially Whole Grains? (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture)

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