Healthy fibers in hälsotreats
The fiber in our diet comes from plant food, such as fruits and vegetables. The composition of fiber depends on the kind of plant, what part it is (leaves, stems, roots) and the age of a plant. Dietary fiber cannot be digested or absorbed by our bodies unlike proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Instead, depending on its type, dietary fiber either gets fermented in the large intestine (digestible fiber) or passes through our bodies intact (nondigestible fiber). Consumption of dietary fiber is known to have a number of health benefits. Fiber helps to reduce weight, maintain cholesterol level and have better digestion.
Soluble and insoluble fibers
There are two distinct fiber categories: digestible, also known as soluble fibers, and nondigestible, knows as insoluble fibers. As the name suggests, soluble fibers can dissolve in water. This feature makes soluble fibers also digestible by our bodies with the help of bacteria. Insoluble fibers, on the other hand, cannot dissolve in water and, therefore, cannot be digested.
Fiber health benefits
Both digestible and nondigestible fibers have health benefits. They add bulk to our meals, which makes us full without consuming additional calories. Most health benefits, however, come from digestible fibers.
Digestible fiber helps regulate blood sugar by making glucose absorption slower. This allows to avoid sugar spikes that can put us at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Another important health benefit that comes from the dietary fiber is lowering of cholesterol levels, which is connected to lowering the risk of heart diseases. Soluble fiber is also known for sustaining intestinal pH balance.
Unlike soluble fiber, insoluble fibers do not impact our metabolism. But they do have an important role for healthy bowel movements. Moreover, non-digestible fibers help to avoid constipation.
Source and consumption
Among good sources of soluble fibers are citrus fruits, apples, peas, and oats to name a few. Whole-grain foods and nuts are known sources of insoluble fibers. Recommended daily intake of fiber is 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day according to World Health Organization (WHO).
Fiber in Hälsotreats
Because there are many health benefits from fiber, we included this ingredient in hälsotreats. We enriched hälsotreats products with beta-glucans and wheat fibers (glutenfree). Beta-glucan fibers exist in cereal grains, especially oats, and barley. Beta-glucans used in Hälsotreats come from oats. They are effective for reducing serum cholesterol and blood glucose concentrations, lowering the glycemic index, after meals. When the beta-glucan passes through the stomach it binds gallic acid. The body then has to produce new gallic acid and to do this it uses some of the serum cholesterol. Put simply, beta-glucan/oat rich diet reduces your cholesterol levels.
Wheat fiber also has positive health effects. It increases “good bacteria” in the stomach, enhances immune system, helps weight loss and helps us to better intake nutrition from food we eat.
In combination with proteins, fibers helps us to stay full for a longer period of time and avoid unwanted snacking.