• Tracey Shaffer: Fiber can lower cholesterol and control blood sugar

  • If you’re looking for a way to fill up your diet, lower your cholesterol, or to lower your blood sugar, perhaps fiber should become your friend.

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  • If you’re looking for a way to fill up your diet, lower your cholesterol, or to lower your blood sugar, perhaps fiber should become your friend. Fiber is a complex carbohydrate; however, it does not give our body energy. Instead, fiber is simply eliminated from our body. Fiber is not a nutrient; it is a phytonutrient and promotes health.
    The current dietary recommendation for fiber is 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Most Americans only get half this amount. Dietary fiber is made up of two main types – insoluble and soluble.
    Soluble fiber – Is very soft and is found in foods such as oat bran and oatmeal. It becomes very gummy and viscous. It acts like a “sponge” in the body binding fatty substances such as cholesterol and excreting this and other waste from the body. Other sources of soluble fiber are barley, dried beans and peas, fruits and vegetables. Soluble fiber is also scientifically proven to help regulate the body’s use of sugar, keeping tighter control of blood sugar in people with diabetes. Try to include 5-10 grams of your total daily fiber from this source.
    Insoluble fiber – Is also known as “roughage.” This type of fiber adds bulk and stiffness to stools, promotes regularity and prevents constipation. It helps decrease intestinal transit time by acting like a broom to keep waste moving through the intestine. This type of fiber lowers the risk of certain types of cancer. Insoluble fiber is commonly found in whole-wheat foods, wheat bran, corn bran and many fruits and vegetables.
    “Bulk” up your fiber intake with these tips:
    · Look for cereals containing at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.
    · Add fresh, frozen or canned vegetables to casseroles.
    · Add oats to meatloaf, bread or cookies.
    · Top cereal with fresh, canned or dried fruit.
    · Fill up on fruits and vegetables for fiber
    · Look for “whole wheat” or “whole grain” as the first ingredient in breads and cereals.
    Blueberry Bran Pancakes
    Makes: 10 pancakes ( 5 inches each)
    Source: fiberone.com
    All you need:
    1 cup FiberOne® bran cereal
    1 egg
    1 1/4 cups buttermilk or milk
    2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    1 tablespoon sugar
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries
    All you do:
    1. If desired, crush cereal by placing in a resealable, food-storage plastic bag; seal bag and crush with rolling pin or meat mallet (or crush in food processor). In medium bowl beat egg with wire whisk or fork. Beat in buttermilk, oil and cereal; let stand about 5 minutes or until cereal is softened. Beat in remaining ingredients except blueberries. Gently stir in 1/2 cup blueberries.
    Page 2 of 2 - 2. Heat griddle or skillet over medium heat or to 375 degrees F. Grease griddle with vegetable oil if necessary (or spray with cooking spray before heating).
    3. For each pancake, pour 1/4 cup batter onto hot griddle (if batter is too thick, stir in additional milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, until as thin as desired). Cook pancakes until puffed and full of bubbles but before bubbles break. Turn; cook other sides until golden brown. Serve topped with blueberries.
    Nutrition Info:
    Calories 120 (Calories from Fat 35)
    Total Fat 4g (Saturated Fat 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g)
    Cholesterol 20mg
    Sodium 290mg
    Total Carbohydrate 18g (Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugars 4g)
    Protein 3g
    Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at tshaffer@hy-vee.com.

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