Market Musings Blog

Wondering about fiber?

Ever WONDER where White Bread came from?

  • Long before Wonder Bread hit the scene, white bread (and white rice and white sugar) were a sign of wealth and status in the Middle Ages; the Church used refined white bread, the nobility bought the rest, leaving the poor people to eat dark bread.
  • The Industrial Revolution brought modern processing of wheat which crushes the grain, thereby destroying the vitamins and protein.
  • To avoid rancidity and extend shelf live, may manufacturers removed the germ as well… good-bye vitamins B and E!
  • Claiming the it’s too rough for our digestive systems, they also removed the bran… good-bye fiber!

Hello Whole Grains and Fiber

Apples ready for picking at local Hoch Orchards.

  • We all have read about the benefits of fiber in our diets, the most well known benefit being regularity. Today, you can find whole grain products and fiber filled foods in every aisle of the grocery store.
  • Fiber is added to many foods these days, but the best way to get fiber is to eat WHOLE foods. Beans, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables all contain fiber and other important vitamins and minerals.

What is Fiber?

  • Fiber is the non-digestible part of the plant consisting of complex carbohydrates that our digestive system can’t break down.
  • 25-30 grams per day is recommended
  • This is easy to obtain if you are eating a whole foods diet.
  • Soluble Fiber is fermented by bacteria in the large intestine and dissolves or swells in water.
  • Sources include: rolled oats, pectin (found in apples), rice bran, prunes, oat bran, beans and squash.
  • Insoluble Fiber is a bulking agent and helps the intestinal to flow.
  • Sources include: Whole grain breads, popcorn, nuts, wheat bran, brown and wild rice and corn bran.

Mississippi Market is full of high fiber foods: fruits and vegetable in the produce section, whole grains and beans in the bulk section and grain and cereal aisle, whole grain breads in the bakery. And don’t forget whole grain pasta and crackers.

Written for Mississippi Market by Melanie Jaeb, RD

Filed under: Nutrition