Fiber Made Simple

by on August 11, 2011

Let’s talk fiber. Do we really need as much as doctors claim? If so, how much? Can we get too much? Will it prevent cancer? Are grass-fed steak and whole eggs good sources of fiber? How the heck do I get rid of this constipation?

This is just a sampling of the many questions I get regarding dietary fiber.

What is Dietary Fiber?

Fiber is a complex carbohydrate made up of non-starch polysaccharides, resistant starches, and/or cellulose. In simple terms, when you hear fiber, think plants, namely veggies, fruits, and whole grains. Just as we have cells that give our body structure, so do plants. (Don’t eat humans, though. They don’t provide fiber.) These plant cells can hold nutrients, water, and other things. There are essentially two kinds of fiber. Each is unique, and possesses specific beneficial qualities.