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Fiber: The New Fat Fighter

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The Whole (Grain) Truth

Stop! Before you put that healthy-looking loaf of bread in your shopping cart, be sure you know what you're getting, advises FITNESS advisory board member Kathy McManus, RD, director of nutrition at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Read the label carefully -- and check the fiber content. In bread, for instance, look for at least 3 grams of fiber per serving (one brand we like: Nature's Own 12 Grain). Choose cereal with a minimum of 2 grams per 100 calories. Other label buzzwords to watch for:

"Whole," as in "100 percent whole wheat" or "whole-grain oats" Ideally, the first ingredient listed should be a whole grain.

"Excellent source of fiber" This means you're getting at least 5 grams of fiber in every serving, while "good source" means that one serving contains at least 2.5 grams of fiber.

"Graham flour" A type of whole wheat flour. So, yes, it's whole grain. But check the fiber content.

"Whole-grain food" Each serving must contain at least 51 percent whole grains. But, depending on the product, the amount of fiber may still be low. For instance, breads contain more water than cereals do, so even when they're whole-grain, they won't necessarily contain much fiber. Always check the label.

"Made with whole grains" If the grains in question appear far down on the ingredients list, put the product back on the shelf.

"Multigrain" The food is made with more than one type of grain, but not necessarily whole grains. Check the ingredients list and the fiber content.

"100 percent wheat" If it doesn't say "whole," it's refined flour, which means all the fiber and nutrients were stripped away in processing.

"Enriched" This term indicates that some of the vitamins have been added back after processing -- but the fiber hasn't. Skip it.

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kbesk wrote:

Very HELPFUL. Thank you!

3/20/2013 01:21:49 AM Report Abuse
anonymous wrote:

The studies that claim a benefit for fiber all operate under a common theory, that humans are entirely conscious eaters who regulate appetite via stomach tension. This theory doesn't actually work. Someone eating to satiation who starts to exercise will eat more, without noticing it. When we have a cold or flu, we eat less, even if consciously, we know that we need to eat just as much. When we eat rich foods, we fill up quickly, much more quickly than stomach tension would seem to allow.

9/27/2010 11:25:10 AM Report Abuse
Paxtastic wrote:

nutrition labels say "dietary fiber" under total carbs. what does this mean?

11/12/2009 07:04:14 PM Report Abuse

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