Inulin and Fiber

by Don


Another name for chicory

I read something about inulin the other day on your healthy eating site, and I was wondering if you knew that inulin is just another name for chicory root, at least as far as I know. You said you get stomach upsets from high-fiber yogurts the other day, from what I remember.

Take it slow

It's not uncommon for people who take in even 20 to 25 grams of fiber per day to get stomach aches if they eat an extra 10 grams of dietary fiber that day. If people are on low-fiber diets, it's best to slowly increase the intake of dietary fiber until one achieves the optimum level of consumption.

Personally, I would rather err on the side of high rather than low, as a diet high in fiber, probiotics and nutrients plays a key role in normalizing weight, alkalinity, blood pressure etc.

Moderate exercise is the key

Since I adopted my current diet regimen, I'm able to do only a modest amount of exercise and remain more focused and alert even when sitting down.

I do some basic pilates exercises when I'm working on my computer to keep myself energized and maintain solid core muscles. And I prefer to shop kiosk style so I get lots of brisk walking in as well.

There is no need for strenuous exercise to maintain good health; moderate exercise is fine for many people who are not interested in competitive sports.

Of course, for athletes, that's another story.

Nutrition page


by: Suzy

For some reason, I only have a reaction to inulin and other artificially added fibers. I can eat as much naturally occurring fiber in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes as I want, without having a reaction.

I bought some organic energy bars one time, and had a digestive reaction to them. When I checked the label, sure enough, there was inulin added to increase the fiber level!

I was so happy when Stonyfield removed the inulin from their organic yogurts. It is now the only brand I buy and highly recommend it, especially the Oikos Greek-style, to be eaten with fruit and nuts or used as a replacement for sour cream and at least part of the mayo in salads.

Here is a little primer on Fiber, in case you are interested.

Fiber, both soluble and insoluble, is found in plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts and whole grains. It is generally fiber that gives texture to foods. Celery has crunch because of the insoluble fibrous strings in its makeup. The snap when you bite into a fresh apple comes from the pectin fiber in its skin. Whole wheat bread has a rougher texture, from the bran fiber that covers the wheat kernel before it is ground into whole-wheat flour. Corn on the cob has a satisfying crunch due to the fiber in the outer skins of the corn kernels.

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.

In addition to promoting good digestion and elimination, the fiber in many carbohydrate 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.

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