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What About Fiber?

We've read recently about studies that seem to indicate that fiber doesn't have quite the colon cancer-preventive qualities we had been led to believe.  This may or may not be true.  For one thing, the testing was done on persons who already had intestinal polyps;  this may have twisted the results. Second, there's probably other dietary factors at work in addition to fiber. 

There's two kinds of fiber; soluble and insoluble.  If you're interested in the difference, or would like to see a chart with foods highest in fiber and sample menus, visit visit Mayo Clinic's chart of high-fiber foods.

There's ample evidence, all over the web and in thousands of books and magazines, that a high fiber diet can help prevent and/or relieve constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, diverticula's,  hemorrhoids, high cholesterol, heart disease, varicose veins, blood sugar disorders, even obesity and much more.  For those who already have diabetes, the importance of a high-fiber diet cannot be underestimated. 

The best high-fiber diet is one which is rich in nutritious foods that contain, in addition to fiber, antioxidants and vitamins, and well as low fat content. 

Persons in countries where the diet is naturally high in fiber have a much lower rate of many of these "Western diet" disorders.  In the USA and many other developed countries, refined products that can be chewed easily, eaten quickly and satisfy rapidly are a "benefit" of our wealthy society.  This is a bonanza for laxative companies, diet and weight loss centers and gastroenterologists. 

So how can we protect ourselves and our families without drastically changing our eating habits?  Here's Ten Commandments for Getting More Fiber-- painlessly and deliciously!

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