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dietary FibER—and its various health benefits

CONTENTS • What is dietary fiber? — Soluble dietary fiber — Insoluble dietary fiber • Tips for a high-fiber diet — How much fiber do foods contain? — Tips for increasing fiber in a meal — Whole grains versus ­refined grains • Benefits of a high-fiber diet


D i e ta ry F i b e r EDI TORIAL Nestlé is globally committed to nutrition, health and wellness, and at Nestlé Professional,™ we’re dedicated to helping you— the foodservice operator—meet the nutritional needs of your guests. It is our promise to inform you of the latest research,products and trends in nutrition and wellness, as well as dietary requirements and government regulations that can affect your business. We hope you find this latest issue of NutriPro,™ which focuses on the critical importance of dietary fiber to a balanced diet, to be informative and inspiring as you strive to satisfy your customers’ needs.

Jorge Sadurni President & CEO, Nestlé Professional, Americas

We have created NutriPro Magazine to provide you with Nutrition, Health & Wellness (NHW) education and ideas for improving your menu offerings and consumer communication as they relate to NHW. In this issue we feature Dietary Fiber—what it is, what the best food sources are, why it is important, and what all of this means for you, your customers, and your business. Fiber is an extremely important component of a balanced diet based on research and evidence indicating that consumption may help reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, Type II Diabetes, and obesity. Take note of the featured meal ideas such as whole grain waffles, and entrées with legumes, which provide great sources of dietary fiber. We hope you find the enclosed content valuable and actionable. We’d love to hear your thoughts. Please visit to email us about NutriPro or to learn more about the Nestlé Professional portfolio, resources, and much more.

Kate Julius Vice President, Culinary Marketing and Business Development

and its various health benefits

What is dietary fiber? The term dietary fiber—commonly called fiber—describes a number of different substances such as cellulose, pectin, lignin, and guar. All of them are naturally found only in plants and are resistant to digestion in, and absorption by, the human small intestine. Partial, or even complete, fermentation does occur, however, in the large ­intestine. Dietary fiber is classified into two basic types: soluble fiber and ­insoluble fiber. Solubility determines their various physiological ­effects.

Soluble dietary fiber Soluble dietary fiber partially dissolves in water and forms a gel when cooling (e.g. pectin). It can also be digested and metabolized by bacteria in the large intestine. This metabolism produces gas and short chain fatty acids that can be absorbed in small quantities by the body. The most important forms of soluble dietary fiber are pectin, gums, guar, and some hemicelluloses. Food sources rich in these types of fiber components include legumes, vegetables, fruits, oat bran, and seeds. Research shows that soluble fiber helps lower serum cholesterol (important in the dietary management of heart disease) and slows the absorption of glucose, thereby reducing fluctuations in blood glucose (­ important in glucose control for people with diabetes).

Insoluble dietary fiber Insoluble dietary fiber does not dissolve in water and passes through the gastrointestinal tract without being changed. The most important forms are cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin. Insoluble fibers are found in whole grain products, especially whole grain breakfast cereals, wheat bran, and some vegetables. Research shows that insoluble fiber appears to speed the passage of foods through the s­ tomach and intestines. Vegetables and fruits (any plant product for that matter) contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, but depending on the type and ­degree of ripeness of vegetable or fruit, the soluble to insoluble fiber ratio may vary.

Dietary Fiber

G o o d to k n o w Pectin

P r i m a r y s o u r c e s o f d i ff e r e n t kinds of fibers Soluble Insoluble dietary fiber dietary fiber Grain products: • oatmeal • oat bran • barley

Grain products: • whole wheat bread • bulgur • whole wheat pasta • whole grain • couscous ­breakfast cereals • brown rice • wheat bran

Vegetables: • potatoes • broccoli • carrots • peas

Vegetables: • cauliflower • cucumbers • celery • potato skins

Legumes: • beans • dried peas • lentils

Legumes: • beans • lentils

Fruits: • apples • berries • citrus fruits • pears • bananas • prune juice

• tomato skins • zucchini • green beans

Nuts and Seeds: • cashews • walnuts • sesame seeds • flax seeds • sunflower seeds

Pectin is found naturally in fruits (e.g. apples, plums, peaches, bananas, citrus fruits) and vegetables (e.g. carrots, potatoes). The main use for pectin in the food industry is as a gelling/thickening agent and stabilizer for foods such as jams, jellies, sweets, dairy products, and canned foods. It is also used (in addition to gums) as a substitute for fat in reduced-fat products, e.g. in baked goods.

Resistant starch

The term dietary fiber also includes a type of starch that resists digestion in the small intestines of healthy people and passes unchanged into the large intestine where it is partially fermented. It is commonly referred to as resistant starch. Some types of resistant starch—at the moment four classes of resistant starch have been identified—exist naturally and are mainly found in potatoes (especially when cooked and then cooled), underripe bananas, whole or partly-milled grains, and in breakfast cereals. The food industry uses these resistant starches in different ways. When added to food such as bread, biscuits, sweet goods, pasta, nutritional bars, and cereal, resistant starch can increase fiber content without affecting taste or texture. Resistant starch can be used to replace flour or other rapidly digested carbohydrates which results in lower caloric formulation. Natural ­resistant starch delivers between 2 - 3 kcal/ gram of ingredient, which contrasts with 4 kcal/gram for “normal” carbohydrates.



d i e ta ry F i b e r Fiber content in different kinds of foods:



One portion of whole wheat pasta (7 oz. cooked) 足contains 9g of fiber



One portion of penne pasta (7 oz. cooked) 足contains only 2.3g of fiber


0.7g Two slices of mixed-grain wholemeal bread (2 oz.) contain 3.5g of 足fiber

One croissant (2 oz.) contains only 0.7g of fiber

One apple with skin (5 oz.) contains 3.3g of fiber

One apple without skin (5 oz.) contains only 2.7g of fiber

4.5g 1.8g 0.3g One bowl of bran flakes (1 oz.) contains 4.5g of fiber

One bowl of corn flakes (1 oz.) contains only 0.3g of fiber

0.2g 7 oz. of brown, long-grain rice (cooked) contains 1.8g of fiber

7 oz. of white, long-grain rice (parboiled, unenriched, cooked) contains only 0.2g of fiber

Dietary Fiber

Tips for a high-fiber diet How much fiber do foods contain? The fiber content and composition of the different types of fiber varies depending on the type of vegetables or fruits, maturity or time of harvest, growing environment and storage conditions. For example, vegetables harvested during a younger growth stage are likely to contain a higher amount of pectin and hemicellulose (soluble fibers) and less cellulose and lignin (insoluble fibers) than when harvested at later growth stages. As a general rule, the concentration of insoluble fiber components increases with the maturity of the vegetable or fruit, whereas the content of the soluble fiber components can vary depending on the type of soluble fiber. Good food sources for fibers are: • Whole grains • Vegetables and legumes (e.g. beans, peas) • Fruits • Nuts and seeds

Tips for increasing fiber in a meal General tips

• Removing the skin from fruits and vegetables decreases their fiber content. • Whole foods are generally preferred as a fiber source versus fiber supplements. Fiber supplements do not provide the vitamins, minerals, and other ­beneficial nutrients that high-fiber foods do.

G o o d to KNO W Serving recommendations

For the daily recommendation of 20-35g of fiber (adults) we must eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, and a minimum of 3 whole grain food servings per day. The following are examples of one serving: • One fruit and vegetable serving: –– a small glass of 100% fruit or ­vegetable juice (3/4 cup or 6 oz.) –– a medium-sized piece of fruit (one orange, small banana, ­medium-sized apple) –– 1 cup of raw salad greens –– 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables

–– 1/2 cup of cut-up fruit or vegetables –– 1/4 cup of dried fruit –– 1/2 cup of dried beans or peas • One whole grain serving: –– 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice, pasta, or cooked cereal –– 1 ounce of dry whole wheat pasta, brown rice, or other dry grain –– 1 slice of whole wheat bread –– 1 small muffin (one ounce) –– 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal

G o o d to r e m e m b e r Recommended consumption for adults per day

19 -50 years: 25g ( ) or 38g ( ) 50+ years: 21g ( ) or 30g ( )



D i e ta ry F i b e r

and its various health benefits

For breakfast

• Serve high-fiber cereals (e.g. bran flakes, oatmeal) or muesli with a combination of fresh (e.g. berries, apples) and dried fruits (e.g. raisins, apricots, plums), and low-fat milk or low-fat dairy product. • Serve fresh fruits or fresh fruit salad. • Add waffles or pancakes with fresh fruits (e.g. berries, bananas, peach) or a combination of fresh and dried fruit salad. • Substitute whole wheat or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancakes, waffles, or muffins. Remark: they may need a bit more leavening. • Serve eggs/omelettes with vegetables such as peppers, sweet corn, artichokes, mushrooms, or tomatoes. • Serve whole grain bread products instead of refined bread products.

servi ng ti ps Breakfast

• 1/2 cup (around 2 oz.) of oatmeal with 1 large banana • 1/2 cup of bran cereals • 3 tbsp of unsweetened muesli with 1 banana and 4 dried apricot halves • Fresh fruit salad with 1 apple, 1 orange, and 1 cup of strawberries • An omelette with 100g of mushrooms, 50g of onions, 100g of red pepper, and 3 slices of whole grain toast

For snacks

• Serve bran muffins as snacks. • Serve nachos with refried black beans, baked tortilla chips, and salsa. • Add more whole grain flour or oatmeal when making cookies or other baked treats. • Popcorn • Raw vegetables • Fresh fruit

servi ng ti ps

Dietary Fiber

For lunch / dinner

• Serve antipasti (prepared with a highly polyunsaturated oil) containing high-fiber vegetables, e.g. eggplant, okra, tomatoes, olives, black beans, or spinach. • Serve a salad (e.g. with raw carrots, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, broccoli). • Try whole grain croutons in salad or whole grain crackers with soup. • Offer fresh vegetable wraps. • For wraps: Try to substitute whole grain flour for half of the white flour. • For sandwiches: Use—whenever possible—whole grain bread for sandwiches and serve it with salad. • Replace—whenever possible—white rice, bread, and pasta, with brown rice and whole wheat grain products. • Try to use other whole grain products such as bulgur, couscous, or barley instead of white rice. • Serve skin on baked potatoes with low-fat sour cream and dried tomatoes (cut), yellow pepper, and spring onions. • Add dried beans, pearl barley, brown rice, or cracked wheat to casseroles and soups. • Serve more dried beans and peas, such as pinto beans, kidney beans, and lentils (e.g. cooked in flavored liquid, such as stock, vegetable stock with fresh herbs, lemon, or wine) or with other vegetables, such as in side dishes or salads. • Serve a fresh fruit salad completed with some roasted seeds ­ (e.g. sunflower, pumpkin seeds, or pine nuts) as dessert. • Add vegetables to sauces and soups.

servi ng ti ps Lunch / Dinner

• Antipasti with a minimum of 100g of okra, 1 yellow sweet pepper, 20g of dried red tomatoes, and 100g of eggplant • A salad with a minimum of 250g of leafy greens, 10g of pine nuts, and 100g of carrots • 1 cup of whole wheat macaroni with a sauce of 1 cup of frozen mixed v­ egetables and 2 tomatoes • 1 cup of whole wheat egg noodles with 100g of soybeans, 1 carrot, and 50g of spring onions • A dish with couscous (80g of couscous raw/person) and different kinds of vegetables • A sandwich with 2 slices of whole grain bread and a minimum of 1 tomato and 100g of artichokes (hearts, cooked)



D i e ta ry F i b e r

and its various health benefits

Whole grains versus refined grains Whole grain products are made from the entire grain seed, usually called the kernel. This includes the bran, the endosperm, and the germ (see figure). The bran contains most of the fiber and is a good source of B vitamins (e.g. thiamin, riboflavin) and minerals (e.g. iron, zinc), while the germ is a source of oil and is rich in vitamin E. With refined grains, the grains are milled, which removes the bran and the germ, as well as the fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Only the endosperm—the part that contains the starch—remains. To compensate for the removal of vitamins and minerals during the milling process, many refined grain products are enriched with some of the original nutrients—such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron. Enrichment, however, doesn’t restore the content of insoluble fiber.


“Outer shell” protects seed • Fiber • B vitamins • Trace minerals

Whole wheat flour Germ

White flour (refined)

Nourishment for the seed • B vitamins • Vitamin E • Trace minerals • Phytonutrients


Provides energy • Carbohydrate • Protein • B vitamins

Partially refined flour

E x a m p l e f o r da i ly m e a l s

For breakfast

For a snack in the morning

For lunch

1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal with 1/2 cup strawberries and a small glass of fresh fruit juice

1 carrot, 1 red or yellow pepper or other pieces of vegetable sticks

1 bowl of minestrone (veg whole wheat pasta) and

Dietary Fiber

G o o d to KNO W Average fiber content of common foods Grains, cereals, pasta

Good Source (2.5g - 4.9g fiber per serving)

Vegetables and Legumes


Bulgur, cooked (1/2 cup)


Green peas (1/2 cup) 4.1g

Mixed fruit salad (1 cup)


Barley, cooked (1/2 cup)


Mixed vegetables (1/2 cup)


Dates (1/4 cup)


Oat bran, cooked (1/2 cup)


Pumpkin, canned (1/2 cup)


Medium sized pear (1)


Spinach, cooked (1/2 cup)


Winter vegetables (1/2 cup) 2.8g

Excellent Source (Above 5g per serving)

Raisin bran cereal (1 cup)


Whole wheat pasta (1 cup) 6.3g

Broccoli (1/2 cup)


Greens, cooked (1/2 cup)


Beets, cooked (1/2 cup)


Navy beans, cooked (1/2 cup) 9.5g Baked beans

(1/2 cup)

Black beans, cooked

(1/2 cup)

9.0g 7.5g

Medium apple with skin (1) 4.4g Medium orange (1)


Medium banana (1)


Raspberries (1 cup)


Blackberries (1 cup)


Blueberries (1 cup)


Artichokes, cooked (1/2 cup) 7.2g Lentils, cooked (1/2 cup)


The United States Department of Agriculture has issued the following guidelines for labeling food. “Good Source” should contain 2.5 - 4.9g of fiber per serving. An “Excellent Source” of fiber should contain above 5g of fiber per serving.

getables with beans and one small salad

For a snack in the afternoon

For dinner

1 whole grain muffin with oats (one ounce)

1/2 cup of vegetables and 1 piece of salmon with whole wheat pasta and a fruit-based dessert



D i e ta ry F i b e r

and its various health benefits

Benefits of a high-fiber diet

General aspects

High-fiber foods generally have a low fat content, especially saturated fatty acids, cholesterol, and are normally low in sugar. On the other hand, they are good sources of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that are important for overall health. Furthermore, a high-fiber diet is filling, which reduces appetite; on the whole, it has a relatively low calorie content. Eating excessive amounts of dietary fiber, typically in large quantities of wheat bran (more than 35g per day) or fiber in supplemental form may cause undesirable effects, such as reducing the absorption or increasing the excretion of minerals. However, levels of 10-12g/1000kg are considered safe.

G o o d to KNO W Get the facts

“Wheat flour,” “unbleached wheat flour,” or “stoned wheat” do not have the same meaning as “whole wheat.” Only “whole wheat” contains all the elements of the entire natural grain. The other products contain one element—the endosperm or starch component. You should also know about products that state “made with whole wheat,” “made with whole grain”, or “made with oatmeal.” These products generally do not contain whole grains and it is not possible to tell how much whole wheat, whole grain, or oatmeal is in the product.

Sometimes, a sudden increase of high-fiber foods particularly with resistant starches can cause gas along with abdominal discomfort and, sometimes, diarrhea. Gradually increasing fiber intake and consuming adequate water is recommended.

Managing blood sugar levels

Soluble fiber also helps to manage blood glucose levels by slowing down the absorption of sugar and increasing insulin sensitivity. As a result, high-fiber foods play a role in the dietary treatment of Type 2 diabetes.

Dietary Fiber

Managing cholesterol levels

A high cholesterol level, together with other factors (e.g. high blood pressure and obesity) may increase the risk of heart disease. Many studies show that eating a high total fiber diet is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease compared to a low-fiber diet. One of the reasons for this is that soluble fiber, particularly from beans, oats, flaxseeds, and fruits, helps to lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad� cholesterol. The main mechanisms responsible for lowering blood cholesterol levels with soluble fiber are a reduction in the absorption of dietary cholesterol.

Reducing the risk of colon cancer

There is scientific evidence to suggest that dietary fiber can help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer, particularly breast and colon cancer. The evidence, however, is not conclusive at the moment. Nevertheless, fiber has many demonstrated benefits, which make a high-fiber diet a very good recommendation for a healthy life.

Healthy scramble What is a benefit to eating whole grains? Unscramble letters of the correct answers to find out. 1. Which of the following substances is a dietary fiber? A Fructose I Cellulose E Trans fatty acids 2. Refined grain includes: O the bran, the endosperm and the germ N the endosperm 3. A high-fiber diet may help: N avoid lactose intolerance B reduce the cholesterol level P increase sales figures 4. The concentration of soluble fiber in fruits and vegetables: I decreases with maturity H increases with maturity G doesn’t vary with maturity 5. High-fiber foods are: M nutrient-dense H nutrient-poor 6. What is the daily fiber recommendation for adults? O 15 - 20g B 20 - 25g A 20 - 35g 7. Dietary fiber can be divided into: F mono, di and polysaccharides M saturated and unsaturated V soluble and insoluble 8. Good food sources for fiber are: T whole wheat products B sweets D meat and meat products

Answer: Vitamin B



D i e ta ry F i b e r

and its various health benefits

Easy ways to UP the fiber

Start with great-tasting NESTLÉ products and add some key ingredients to make a high-fiber meal.

Breakfast Even children will eat their fiber if you pair berries and bananas with mini NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Morsels and low-fat yogurt, then serve it all on delicious BELGIAN CHEF® Original Whole Grain Waffle Stix.™ One breakfast sure to delight.


Lunch Add fiber to this comforting Beef Barley Soup made with MINOR’S® Beef Base and MINOR’S® Roasted Garlic Flavor Concentrate by adding hearty barley and a variety of healthy vegetables—celery, onions, carrots, and tomatoes. Serving the soup with whole grain bread adds even more fiber, and creates a complete, flavorful meal.

Dinner Colorful garden vegetables—broccoli, red peppers, and carrots—bring flavor and fiber to this satisfying Stouffer’s® Grilled Chicken Fettuccini with Vegetables accented with garlic and Parmesan. Add a tossed green salad and whole wheat roll for a complete, fiber-rich meal.

NESTLÉ PROFESSIONAL™ PO Box 457 Rogers, MN 55374-1618 Unless otherwise noted all trademarks are owned by Société des Produits Nestlé, S.A., Vevey, Switzerland.


NutriPro Magazine - Dietary Fibers  

Nutri Pro Magazine - Dietary Fibers