Fiber Quiz Answers
Question #1 - To which family of nutrients does fiber belong?
Answer: b. Carbohydrates
The term fiber is used to describe certain complex organic compounds that are part of the carbohydrate family. Fibers may be either polysaccharides or non-polysaccharides. In either case, the structure of the molecules is such that these fibers are not easily broken down by your digestive system. This is in contrast to other carbohydrates, like most starches and sugars, which are easily digested.
Question #2 - What are the two general categories of fiber that you need to be healthy?
Answer: c. Soluble and Insoluble
One way to categorize fiber is as soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber are essential to a healthy eating lifestyle.
Soluble fiber, as the name suggests, is fiber that dissolves in water to form a gel like substance in your digestive tract. Soluble fibers hold moisture, softening the stools to make elimination more comfortable.
In addition to helping to keep your digestive tract healthy, soluble fibers also slow down the absorption of glucose (sugar) and seem to be a factor in lowering blood cholesterol. This means that getting enough soluble fiber in your diet could help to lower the risk of developing diabetes and heart disease.
Insoluble fiber is the relatively indigestible part of the food you eat. It basically “goes in one end and comes out the other.” This type of fiber includes cellulose, lignins and some hemicelluloses, which are the structural components of plants.
Insoluble fiber creates bulk in your GI tract and helps to keep things moving. In this way, insoluble fibers help you to avoid constipation and keep your digestive tract, including your colon, healthy.
Question #3 - Which foods are significant sources of fiber?
Answer: e. all of the above
Fiber, both soluble and insoluble, is found in plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds and whole grains. All of the following foods contain significant amounts of fiber:
Apples, oranges, strawberries, raisins, cantaloupe, pears, sweet potatoes, avocado, celery, broccoli, cabbage, corn, carrots, Brussels sprouts, flax seeds, nuts, lentils, beans, brown rice, oatmeal, 100% whole-wheat bread.
Dairy foods, meats, oils and sugars are noticeably missing from this list of fiber foods, because they do not contribute fiber to your diet unless it is added during processing.
Question #4 - What is the recommended amount of fiber that adults should get from their diet each day?
Answer: a. 25-30 grams
Adults generally need about 25-30 grams of fiber each day. Children need less, depending on age. A rule of thumb for determining the amount of fiber a child needs is “age-plus-five,” meaning add five to the child’s age to determine the amount of fiber they need. (i.e. an eight-year-old would need about 13 grams of fiber [8+5] each day.)
Question #5 - Why does your body need fiber?
Answer: e. all of the above
In addition to promoting good digestion and elimination, the fiber in many foods can contribute to a healthy colon and decreased exposure to harmful toxins. Sufficient fiber in the diet has also been associated with decreased risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and irritable bowel syndrome.
Since fiber creates bulk in your stomach and digestive tract, it can help you to lose weight by allowing you to feel full, while consuming fewer calories. In addition, foods that are good sources of fiber are often lower in fat and calories, so if you eat the same volume of food, you may actually eat fewer calories, without feeling deprived.
Bonus Question - Name some common fibers that are found in the foods you eat?
Answer: d. Cellulose, Pectin, Lignans
Cellulose is the fiber that forms the structure of plant foods. It is indigestible by humans, although ruminants such as cows can break it down. Lignans are another type of indigestible fiber found in plants. Flax seed is a particularly good source of lignans.
If you have ever made your own homemade jelly, you will know about a substance called “pectin” that you add to the mixture to help your jelly to gel. Pectin, a soluble fiber, occurs naturally in some fruits and vegetables, and when you eat the fruit, the pectin forms a gel-like substance in your digestive tract that eases digestion and elimination.
What your score means
If you had 0-1 Correct Answers: Oh my! I can hear your colon screaming from here!
If you had 2-3 Correct Answers: Kudos! Your bowels thank you for starting to learn about keeping them healthy!
If you had 4-5 Correct Answers: Alrighty then! You probably don't need to put up a magazine rack in your bathroom!
If you had all 6 Correct Answers: Bravo! I predict a long and healthy life, at least for your digestive tract!
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