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The value of dietary fiber in the human diet

Dietary fiber plants previously attributed to ballast (useless) substances.

In recent years, it has been established that impaired metabolic processes and the development of certain diseases ^ (atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, gallstone disease) depends on the lack of food in plant fibers.

The composition of dietary fiber contains carbohydrate compounds (cellulose, hemicellulose, pectin substances) and non-carbohydrate components - lignin, etc. The amount of each component in different plants is different and varies throughout the life of the plant. Dietary fiber, for example, bran contains about 6% cellulose (cellulose), 24% hemicellulose and 4% lignin. Beets, black currants and apples are a good source of pectic substances. Carriers of dietary fiber are wholemeal bread, vegetables, fruits, berries. Bread and pasta made from white flour of the highest grades, polished rice are called refined products, since they practically do not contain dietary fiber. Understanding the importance of fibrous substances in human nutrition has led to recommendations to include wheat bran in bread, as well asEat rye bread that contains 5 times more fiber than white.

Cellulose and hemicellulose under the action of bacterial enzymes in the colon are partially broken down, turning into volatile organic acids - acetic, propionic and butyric, which are used by the body. Hemicellulose is digested to a greater extent than cellulose, pectin is most fully broken down.

Food fiber products have the ability to retain moisture. This property leads to an increase in the food lump and the acceleration of its movement in the intestines. According to the ability to retain moisture, wheat bran fibers occupy the first place. Then there are fibers of carrots and apples, bacagans of jans, cabbage, corn, oranges, pears, green peas, etc.

Scientists note the positive effect of dietary fiber on the state of the body due to their ability to bind in the intestines some nutrients and components that pollute it, bind bile acids, reduce glucose and cholesterol levels in the blood.

Stimulating the motor function (peristalsis) of the intestines, dietary fiber prevents the occurrence of constipation. It should be noted that as a result of the consumption of bread mainly from white flour of fine grinding 10 — 20% of the population suffer from constipation. According to experts, diverticulitis (sacciform protrusion of the intestinal wall), polyps and even colon cancer are to a certain extent associated with a lack of dietary fiber in the diet. It is not excluded that the significant spread of cholelithiasis observed in recent years is also caused by the consumption of refined products, a decrease in the proportion of plant products in the diet, while dietary fibers stimulate bile excretion processes, prevent its stagnation, and normalize the function of the biliary tract.

The inclusion of wheat bran in the diet of patients with cholecystitis and suffering from constipation contributes to the normalization of stool, prevents the formation of cholesterol stones. In patients with gallstone disease, the use of plant fibers reduces the level of cholesterol in the bile, prevents relapse of the disease.

Pectins of plant fibers have the ability to bind carcinogens, thereby reducing their effects on the body. Pectin-rich vegetables, fruits and berries, interacting with toxic substances, bind them, preventing absorption in the intestines. Given the ability of pectic substances to bind heavy metals, they are well used in preventive nutrition.

Thus, dietary fiber is the anti-toxic components of food.

Dietary fiber has a beneficial effect on the development of beneficial intestinal microflora.

In connection with the above, given the important role of dietary fiber in the diet in recent years to develop methods for enriching dietary fiber and food components. A person must 25 grams per day of dietary fiber.

With increased consumption of dietary fiber (40 g or more per day), the absorption of proteins, fats, mineral salts, and vitamins is impaired.

A lot of fiber contains legumes (3,9 — 5,7%), oatmeal (2,8%), oatmeal (1,9%), grains (2,3%), carrots, pumpkin (1,2%), potatoes (1,0%), white cabbage (1,0%) , beets (0,9%), eggplants (1,3%), tomatoes (1,2%), oranges (1,4%), buckwheat (1,1%), wheat bread from whole grains (2,0%), rye bread (1,1%). There is little fiber in wheat bread from flour grade II (0,4%), bakery products from wheat flour grade I (0,2%), pasta from flour of the highest grade (0,1%), semolina (0,2%).

Is it always useful sugar

Sugars are called mono - and disaccharides, soluble in water, quickly absorbed in the intestines and have a sweet taste. If the sweetness of sucrose is taken as 1, then the sweetness of fructose will be —1,3 — 1,75, glucose — 0,74, galactose — 0,35 — 0,6, lactose — 0,16 —- 0,2, maltose — 0,32, sorbitol — 0,48, and xylitol — 0,98. 99,7% beet and cane sugar consists of sucrose disaccharide. High taste of sugar, high energy capacity at a relatively low cost of the product led to an increased level of its consumption by the population.

With considerable physical exertion, for example during sports events, easily digestible carbohydrates can be used in sufficiently large quantities to compensate for the energy consumed by the body: However, excessive sugar consumption over time leads to an overstressing of the insular apparatus of the pancreas and may contribute to the development of diabetes. In addition, the sugar that is ingested in an excessive amount is converted into fat, while the synthesis of cholesterol increases, which contributes to the development of obesity and other diseases.

It is known that the digestion and absorption of easily digestible carbohydrates does not require significant energy costs. These carbohydrates are not a source of vital substances for the body, but they have a high energy value.

Some foreign scientists studying the nature of nutrition and its relationship to various diseases, concluded that sugar is one of the main reasons for the reduction in life expectancy of modern humans. We do not consider absolutely correct such strong opinions, but the formation

8 Table. The sugar content of some fruits and vegetables (according to MF Nesterina, IM Skurikhina, 1979), g / 100 g edible portion

Fruits and vegetables







Total amount Fruits and vegetables












Grapes 7,8 7,7 0,5 16,0 Strawberries 2,7 2,4 1,1 6,2
Cherries 5,5 4,5 0,6 10, b Melons 1,1 2,0 5,9 9,0
Cherries 5,5 4,5 0,3 10,3 Watermelons 2,4 4,3 2,0 8,7
peaches 2,0 1,5 6,0 9 5 Beets 0,3 0,1 8,6 9,0
Tangerines 2,0 1,6 4,5 8,1 Carrots 2,5 1,0 3,5 7,0
pears 1,8 5,2 2,0 9 0 Cabbage
Apples 2,0 5,5 1,5 9,0 white-browed
plums 2,5 1,5 4,8 8,8 naya 2,6 1,6 0,4 4,8
Raspberry 3,9 3,9 0,5 8,4 Pumpkin 2,6 0,9 0,5 4,0
Currant Tomatoes 1,6 1,2 0,7 3,5
black 1,5 4,2 1,0 6,7

We pay attention of readers to the fact that very often excessive passion for sweet, especially easily digestible carbohydrates leads to excess body weight. Taking into account the above coefficients, the sweets of various sugars, doctors recommend replacing a significant part of the daily norm of sucrose with fructose, which will allow you to achieve the necessary sweetness of food with a smaller amount and lower energy value of fructose.

The richest sources of sucrose in the diet of modern man, besides sugar, are foods and dishes made with added sugar: confectionery, compotes, jelly, jam, jams, curd, ice cream, sweet fruit drinks, etc. Real source of simple sugars are some vegetables and fruits that contain at the same time other useful food substances (Table 8).

In fruits and vegetables, sugar is “protected” by fiber, so they are absorbed more slowly than refined sugar, and to a lesser extent, affect the level of glucose in the blood, are less used for the formation of fat and cholesterol synthesis. After heat treatment, fruits and vegetables are easier to digest and the sugars they contain are better absorbed by the body.

People who work physically should not drastically limit their sugar intake because they consume a lot of energy. When sedentary work that does not require large energy consumption, especially people who are prone to corpulence, it is necessary to avoid the inclusion in the diet of large amounts of sugar. In other words, the body should receive as much sugar and complex carbohydrates as needed to meet energy needs.

The properties of honey

Bee honey is widely used in the nutrition of healthy and sick people, as it has good taste, nutritional and medicinal properties. Even Avicenna recommended to use honey to prolong life. The main food substances of honey are easily digestible carbohydrates: fructose (35 — 38%), glucose (32 — 35%), sucrose (2%) and maltose (3%). Bee honey also contains 20% water and about 5% other substances. Riboflavin (vitamin B2), pyridoxine (vitamin Wb), phylloquinone (vitamin K), pantothenic acid and folic acid are present in small quantities in it. Honey contains a number of amino acids, enzymes necessary for the vital functions of the body cells. It also contains many mineral substances: calcium, sodium, potassium, magnesium, iron, chlorine, phosphorus, sulfur, iodine, manganese, silicon, aluminum, boron, chromium, copper, lithium, nickel, etc. It should be noted that mineral salts and honey corresponds to their content in human serum.

The composition of honey consists of organic acids: malic, lactic, citric, etc. In total, about 60 of various substances are found in it.

Bee honey has a high energy value (100 g corresponds to 1314 — 1403 kJ), therefore, when consuming honey, you should refrain from the use of sugar and confectionery.

People have long known medicinal properties of honey: diaphoretic, anti-inflammatory, antitussive, antimicrobial, etc. Daily consumption of honey by a healthy adult should not exceed 80 — 100 g, divided into 2 — 3. The nutritional and therapeutic value of honey is primarily due to plants, from the flowers of which the bees take nectar.

The best varieties of honey is lime. Fresh lime honey is usually transparent, light yellow or greenish in color, very fragrant. In diseases of the common cold, it reduces cough, increases sweating. Lime honey has a calming effect, therefore it is useful for insomnia.

Fresh acacia honey is also completely transparent, and candied in appearance resembles snow. It has antimicrobial and antitussive action.

Buckwheat honey has a peculiar aroma and taste; it is more often dark yellow with a reddish tinge, sometimes dark brown. In buckwheat honey significantly more protein and iron than in other varieties of honey. In this regard, it is recommended for anemia (anemia).

Mint honey has a slight analgesic effect, facilitates digestion, is a tonic, antispasmodic (for spasms of loose muscle tissue of the gallbladder, stomach and intestines).

Honey from conifers has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect in diseases of the respiratory organs and urinary tract, has a weak diuretic effect.

In cases when bees collect nectar of some poisonous plants (azaleas, aconite, andromeda, wild rosemary, etc.), honey may acquire toxic properties. Severe poisoning of people was observed due to the consumption of 2 — 3 teaspoons of such honey. The toxic substance is neurotropic poison andromedotoxin, which causes intoxication-like phenomena (dizziness, nausea, vomiting, convulsions). Therefore, this honey is called “drunk”.

On bee honey, some people may experience an allergic reaction (increased sensitivity of the body to honey).

In medical nutrition, it is recommended to use honey instead of sugar in the mild form of diabetes mellitus, atherosclerosis, and liver and lung diseases. Fructose of honey is absorbed in the alimentary canal more slowly than glucose, and for its participation in metabolism, the pancreatic hormone insulin is not required. This creates the advantages of using honey compared to sugar in the diet.

The nutritional value of bee honey during its long storage is fully preserved. Sugaring (crystallization) does not affect its quality.

Unlike many foods, bee honey never grows moldy. However, honey can ferment. At the same time he foams, acquires a specific smell and taste. Such honey in food is not allowed.

Artificial honey is made from sugar. The sugar is boiled with citric acid, after which honey essence is added to it. Artificial honey contains about 50% glucose and fructose, 30% sucrose, but it does not contain all the biologically active substances of honey. Such honey can be used in the diet of a healthy person only as a source of energy.

Medical honey (express) is produced by bees from sugar syrup, to which various drugs are added (antibiotics, vitamins, hormones, extracts and juices of medicinal plants, antipyretic drugs, etc.). This honey is used specifically to treat certain diseases.

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