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The Why Behind Dietary Fiber

The Why Behind Dietary Fiber Dietary fiber is an essential component of a healthy diet. You’ve probably heard on several occasions that fiber is an essential component of every good diet and that it’s good for your health. But, why? [caption id="attachment_1774" align="alignnone" width="1366"]Dietary fiber is important to your health. Dietary fiber is important to your health.[/caption] Dietary fiber — found mainly in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes — is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But foods containing fiber can provide other health benefits as well, such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and lowering your risk of diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer. Selecting tasty foods that provide fiber is not a difficult task. Find out how much dietary fiber you need, the foods that contain it, and how to add them to meals and snacks. What is dietary fiber? Dietary fiber, also known as roughage or bulk, includes the parts of plant foods your body can't digest or absorb. Unlike other food components, such as fats, proteins or carbohydrates — which your body breaks down and absorbs — fiber isn't digested by your body. Instead, it passes relatively intact through your stomach, small intestine and colon and out of your body. Benefits of a high-fiber diet The benefits of fiber are incredible to your body.

  • Fiber normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool. 
  • Fiber helps maintain bowel health. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Studies have also found that a high-fiber diet likely lowers the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Fiber lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or "bad," cholesterol levels. Studies also have shown that high-fiber foods may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
  • Fiber helps control blood sugar levels. In people with diabetes, fiber — particularly soluble fiber — can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 
  • Fiber aids in achieving healthy weight. High-fiber foods tend to be more filling than low-fiber foods, so you're likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer. And high-fiber foods tend to take longer to eat and to be less "energy dense," which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food. 
  • And finally, fiber helps you live longer. Studies suggest that increasing your dietary fiber intake — especially cereal fiber — is associated with a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and all cancers.
  You can get fiber from:
  • Whole-grain products
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans, peas and other legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
Refined or processed foods, such as canned fruits and vegetables, pulp-free juices, white breads and pastas, and non-whole-grain cereals — are lower in fiber. The grain-refining process removes the outer coat (bran) from the grain, which lowers its fiber content. Enriched foods have some of the B vitamins and iron added back after processing, but not the fiber. Another way to get more fiber is to eat foods, such as cereal, granola bars, yogurt and ice cream, with fiber added. The added fiber usually is labeled as "inulin" or "chicory root." Some people complain of gassiness after eating foods with added fiber. However, some people may still need a fiber supplement if dietary changes aren't sufficient or if they have certain medical conditions, such as constipation, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome. Check with your doctor before taking fiber supplements. Also, drink plenty of water. Fiber works best when it absorbs water, making your stool soft and bulky. Still have questions about fiber? We can answer them.

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Summer health tips for you and your family.

Summer health tips for you and your family. Summer health tips for you and your family School is out for the summer. The days are longer and filled with fun, recreation and relaxation. Sunshine, heat, water, picnics, travel, gardening, outdoor recreation and new experiences are just a few of the exciting adventures your family may encounter this summer. Below are a few tips for keeping you and your family healthy this summer.

  • Summer Health Tip 1: Hydration is essential. Heat can be deadly and is much more lethal in the very young and the very old. Staying well hydrated helps to reduce heat illness and is also very important to acclimate to hot environments.
  • Summer Health Tip 2: Sunscreen is key. Make sure to apply sunscreen daily, liberally and always re-apply. Many women apply sunscreen only to their face but forget their neck or chest area. These areas are simply an extension of your face and by not protecting your skin, you are aging yourself before your time. You want to keep your skin looking radiant, healthy and glowing. Pregnant women are most at risk for developing blotchy pigment on their face. Melasma can be treated but will come back with any UV light exposure. It does not have to be raining to use your umbrella. Make a fashion statement and keep cool. Protect your eyes from UV damage with some cool shades.
  • Summer Health Tip 3: Regular exercise is important, even in the heat. The heat can make you lazy, but it’s really important to keep up your workout routine. If you have to move it inside, do it. Or just pick a time that’s not during the hottest hours of the day. You may need to change where you exercise and avoid the peak heat and humidity, but don’t get lazy.
  • Summer Health Tip 4: Avoid Mosquitos, especially at dusk and dawn. Not only are they itchy and annoying, but mosquito bites can also lead to viruses such as Zika. Zika virus is spread to people primarily through mosquito bites, and the best way to prevent the Zika virus is to avoid mosquito bites. Be sure to clear out standing water, use insect repellent, fix broken screens, use EPA-registered insect repellents and spray your clothes (NOT skin) with permethrin.
  • Summer Health Tip 5: Avoid Poisonous Plants Enjoy hiking, gardening and all things outdoors, but know how to identify poisonous plants such as poison ivy, poison sumac, and other plants that may cause you problems. Also, know when to see your physician if you notice a rash that comes on suddenly. Please see your physician if the rash is extensive or involves the face. Over the counter remedies do not always work. Your physician can help you with a prednisone therapy treatment for itchy dermatitis.
  • Summer Health Tip 6: Water Safety Rules are In Place for A Reason. Do not swim alone. Bring and wear lifejackets when swimming, boating, or jet skiing. Remember water activities and alcohol do NOT mix.
  Have questions about any of these items or other summer health tips? Talk to your doctor to find out more.

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A Hernia Can Be A Real Pain. Learn about Hernias and what you can do to get rid of them.

hernia A hernia can be a real pain. A hernia is a common problem. It causes a localized bulge in the abdomen or groin. It can often be harmless and pain-free, but at times it can bring discomfort and pain. But really, what is a hernia? A hernia occurs when there is a weakness or hole in the peritoneum, the muscular wall that usually keeps abdominal organs in place. This defect in the peritoneum allows organs and tissues to push through, or herniate, producing a bulge. The lump may disappear when the person lies down, and sometimes it can be pushed back. Coughing may make it reappear. Some common facts of hernias include:

  • They often produce no troublesome symptoms, but abdominal complaints may signal a serious problem.
  • They are usually straightforward to diagnose, simply by feeling and looking for the bulge.
  • Treatment is a choice between watchful waiting and corrective surgery, either via an open or keyhole operation.
  • Inguinal hernia surgery is more common in childhood and old age, while the likelihood of femoral hernia surgery increases throughout life.
They can commonly be found in the following areas:
  • Groin A femoral hernia creates a bulge just below the groin. This is more common in women. An inguinal hernia is more common in men. It is a bulge in the groin that may reach the scrotum.
  • Upper part of the stomach A hiatal or hiatus hernia is caused by the upper part of the stomach pushing out of the abdominal cavity and into the chest cavity through an opening in the diaphragm.
  • Belly button A bulge in this region is produced by an umbilical or periumbilical hernia.
  • Surgical scar Past abdominal surgery can lead to an incisional hernia through the scar.
  Causes  With the exception of an incisional hernia (a complication of abdominal surgery), in most cases, there is no obvious reason for a hernia to occur. The risk of hernia increases with age and occurs more commonly in men than in women. They can be congenital (present at birth) or develop in children who have a weakness in their abdominal wall. Activities and medical problems that increase pressure on the abdominal wall can lead to a hernia. These include, but are not limited to:
  • Lifting heavy items
  • Persistent cough
  • Poor nutrition
  • Smoking
  • Physical exertion
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Straining to urinate
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Abdominal fluid
  • Straining on the toilet
  • Undescended testicles
Worried you may have a hernia that needs attention? Make an appointment with your doctor today, to come have it checked out.

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Switching Your Physician and Joining us at UFMC Pueblo

Switching Your Physician and Joining us at UFMC Pueblo Are you looking to join us at UFMC Pueblo, but already have a primary care physician or family doctor? No worries, the transition is easy. homeBannerDoctor Not sure how to make sure we’re an in-network provider on your plan? Here are two ways:

  • Call us! We’re here to help. We will review your insurance policy to make sure we cover you. Before you visit any provider or facility, we recommend you call ahead to be sure we are in your plan’s network, as well as confirm our address, office hours, and our new patient acceptance status.
  • Feeling shy, or already on your computer? You can also head over to your health insurance provider’s website and login. There is generally a link that says “find a doctor” or something similar where you can enter your preferred physician or UFMC’s practice name into the search. This will provide you with the results you need to make sure you’re covered.
  Not sure how to choose the right primary care doctor for you? A primary care provider serves as a "home base" for your basic health care. We help to coordinate your care, from your annual check-up and other preventive care, to routine care. Even if your plan doesn't require one, your primary care provider is an important member of your health care team. If you are purchasing your own coverage through an individual and family plan, a primary care provider will be assigned to you. You may change your physician after your planned start date if you would like to. If you are purchasing a health plan through your employer, please review your employer’s plan details to see if you’re required to select a primary care physician or if choosing one is optional, and to see if there are any network requirements for your plan.   Here are a few things to consider when selecting a primary care provider:
  • Network status. Choose a primary care provider that is in-network to save on out-of-pocket costs when you go to the doctor.
  • Quality designations and board certifications. These show that the provider has taken extra steps to provide quality care.
  • Location. Look for an office that's convenient to your home or work. Make sure there is public transportation or parking nearby.
  • Hospital affiliation. If there's a hospital you prefer, it can be helpful to find a provider who's affiliated with that hospital. If you have a hospital stay, this can make it easier for the hospital to share information with your doctor. You can also confirm that the hospital is in your plan’s network.
If you are transitioning to our practice and aren’t sure what you need, make sure to call us. We may ask for your previous health records and can help you get what you need to see the right doctor for you.  

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Health warnings about sitting too much.

Health warnings about sitting too much. sit too much A major new study led by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that Americans sit too much. Sitting for prolonged periods of time, increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers. And most Americans in desk jobs are finding this study to be accurate.   According to the study, the research teams analyzed surveys of 51,000 people from 2001 to 2016 to track sitting trends in front of TVs and computers and the total amount of time spent sitting on a daily basis. Unlike other studies that have looked at sedentary behaviors, the research is the first to document sitting in a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population across multiple age groups—from children to the elderly and different racial and ethnic groups.   The summary found that in a almost none of the groups analyzed are the numbers going in the right direction. Most Americans spend at least two hours per day sitting and watching television or videos. Among children ages 5-11, 62 percent spent at least that long in front of screens daily. For adolescents ages 12-19, that number was 59 percent. About 65 percent of adults ages 20 to 64 spent at least two hours watching television per day. And most recently, 84 percent of adults over age 65 spent at least that much time sitting watching television.   Desk jobs sitting at school were large factors as well. The decline of movement and sitting computer screen time outside of work and school increased. At least half of individuals across all age groups used a computer during leisure time for more than one hour per day. And up to a quarter of the U.S. population used computers outside of work and school for three hours or more.   Total daily sitting time increased among adolescents and adults from 2007 to 2016, from seven hours per day to just over eight for teenagers, and from 5.5 hours per day to almost 6.5 for adults, the researchers found.   What does this all mean? We sit too much for our own good. We’re seeing more and more health problems from sitting and staying stagnant. We need to get up and move, be more active, and stand up throughout the day to encourage healthier behavior.

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