Eating adequate fiber helps you feel fuller longer, promotes normal bowel function and may help control your weight. Fiber is found in foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Steel-cut oats are a type of high-protein grain that use the whole oat kernel. With a unique nutty texture, steel-cut oats are a delicious and nutritious breakfast alternative.
Steel-Cut Oat Nutrition Information
A serving of steel cut oats is approximately 1/4 cup dry and provides 150 calories and 5 g of protein. One serving also contains 4 g of fiber – 2 g soluble and 2 g insoluble fiber. Steel-cut oats are naturally low-fat and have no cholesterol or sodium. For a healthy breakfast idea, serve with low-fat milk and fresh or dried fruit to increase nutrient content.
Types of Fiber
Fiber used to be categorized into two types – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber was thought to lower levels of fat in the blood and insoluble fiber was thought to provide bulk to stools. However, since these health claims have not been well validated scientifically, the Institute of Medicine proposed new classifications for understanding fiber -- dietary fiber and functional fiber. While both types are important to include in your diet, functional fiber is the type that offers positive physiological benefits. Despite the suggested new terms, many nutrition labels still designate fiber as soluble and insoluble.
Daily Fiber Intake
The recommendation for daily fiber intake is given in terms of total fiber, which is the combination of functional and dietary fiber. Women and men should aim to consume at least 25 g and 38 g of total fiber per day, respectively. To do this, eat a variety of whole grains, such as 100 percent whole-wheat bread, oats, brown rice and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Foods rich in fiber enhance the quality of any healthy diet, which includes foods such as lean meats, grains, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and healthy fats. To meet all of your daily nutrient needs, aim to consume at least 6 oz. of grains – at least half of them whole grain, 5 to 6 oz. of lean protein, 2 cups of fruit, 2 1/2 cups of vegetables, 3 cups of low-fat dairy and 7 tsp. of healthy fats.
Although further research is needed to confirm the specific health benefits of fiber, eating an adequate amount each day may help lower blood pressure, reduce fats in the blood and decrease inflammation. Fiber may also help with weight loss and promote stable blood sugar levels in diabetics.