Know Your Food


Michael Centore

Know Your Food


Know YOur Food

Fats and Cholesterol Fiber Flavorings, Colorings, and Preservatives Food Safety Genetically Modif ied Foods Gluten Organic Foods Protein Salt Starch and Other Carbohydrates

Sugar and Sweeteners Vitamins and Minerals Water

Know Your Food


Michael Centore

Mason Crest

Mason Crest 450 Parkway Drive, Suite D Broomall, PA 19008 www.masoncrest.com

© 2018 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher. MTM Publishing, Inc. 435 West 23rd Street, #8C New York, NY 10011

www.mtmpublishing.com President: Valerie Tomaselli Vice President, Book Development: Hilary Poole Designer: Annemarie Redmond Copyeditor: Peter Jaskowiak

Editorial Assistant: Leigh Eron Series ISBN: 978-1-4222-3733-5

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4222-3735-9 E-Book ISBN: 978-1-4222-8042-3 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Centore, Michael, 1980– author. Title: Fiber / by Michael Centore. Description: Broomall, PA: Mason Crest, [2018] | Series: Know your food | Audience: Ages 12+. | Audience: Grades 7 to 8. | Includes index. Identifiers: LCCN 2016053141 (print) | LCCN 2016054926 (ebook) | ISBN 9781422237359 (hardback: alk. paper) | ISBN 9781422280423 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Fiber in human nutrition—Juvenile literature. | Food—Fiber content—Juvenile literature. | Nutrition—Juvenile literature. Classification: LCC QP144.F52 C46 2018 (print) | LCC QP144.F52 (ebook) | DDC 613.2/8—dc23

LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2016053141 Printed and bound in the United States of America. First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 QR CODES AND LINKSTOTHIRD PARTY CONTENT

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Table of Contents

Series Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Chapter One: Fiber Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Chapter Two: Fiber and Diet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Chapter Three: Fiber in the Grocery Store . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Chapter Four: Fiber Supplements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Further Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Series Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Photo Credits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text, while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, which will provide them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments, and much more. Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. Series Glossary of Key Terms: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout the series. Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field.

Key Icons to Look for:

SERIES Introduction I n the early 19th century, a book was published in France called Physiologie du goût ( The Physiology of Taste ), and since that time, it has never gone out of print. Its author was Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. Brillat-Savarin is still considered to be one of the great food writers, and he was, to use our current lingo, arguably the first “foodie.” Among other pearls, Physiologie du goût gave us one of the quintessential aphorisms about dining: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” This concept was introduced to Americans in the 20th century by a nutritionist named Victor Lindlahr, who wrote simply, “You are what you eat.” Lindlahr interpreted the saying literally: if you eat healthy food, he argued, you will become a healthy person. But Brillat-Savarin likely had something a bit more metaphorical in mind. His work suggested that the dishes we create and consume have not only nutritional implications, but ethical, philosophical, and even political implications, too. To be clear, Brillat-Savarin had a great deal to say on the importance of nutrition. In his writings he advised people to limit their intake of “floury and starchy substances,” and for that reason he is sometimes considered to be the inventor of the low-carb diet. But Brillat-Savarin also took the idea of dining extremely seriously. He was devoted to the notion of pleasure in eating and was a fierce advocate of the importance of being a good host. In fact, he went so far as to say that anyone who doesn’t make an effort to feed his guests “does not deserve to have friends.” Brillat-Savarin also understood that food was at once deeply personal and extremely social. “Cooking is one of the oldest arts,” he wrote, “and one that has rendered us the most important service in civic life.” Modern diners and cooks still grapple with the many implications of Brillat- Savarin’s most famous statement. Certainly on a nutritional level, we understand that a diet that’s low in fat and high in whole grains is a key to healthy living. This is no minor issue. Unless our current course is reversed, today’s “obesity epidemic” is poised to significantly reduce the life spans of future generations. Meanwhile, we are becoming increasingly aware of how the decisions we make at supermarkets can ripple outward, impacting our neighborhoods, nations, and the earth as


a whole. Increasing numbers of us are demanding organically produced foods and ethically sourced ingredients. Some shoppers reject products that contain artificial ingredients like trans fats or high-fructose corn syrup. Some adopt gluten-free or vegan diets, while others “go Paleo” in the hopes of returning to a more “natural” way of eating. A simple trip to the supermarket can begin to feel like a personality test—the implicit question is not only “what does a healthy person eat?,” but also “what does a good person eat?” The Know Your Food series introduces students to these complex issues by looking at the various components that make up our meals: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and so on. Each volume focuses on one component and explains its function in our bodies, how it gets into food, how it changes when cooked, and what happens when we consume too much or too little. The volumes also look at food production—for example, how did the food dye called Red No. 2 end up in our food, and why was it taken out? What are genetically modified organisms, and are they safe or not? Along the way, the volumes also explore different diets, such as low-carb, low-fat, vegetarian, and gluten-free, going beyond the hype to examine their potential benefits and possible downsides. Each chapter features definitions of key terms for that specific section, while a Series Glossary at the back provides an overview of words that are most important to the set overall. Chapters have Text-Dependent Questions at the end, to help students assess their comprehension of the most important material, as well as suggested Research Projects that will help them continue their exploration. Last but not least, QR codes accompany each chapter; students with cell phones or tablets can scan these codes for videos that will help bring the topics to life. (Those without devices can access the videos via an Internet browser; the addresses are included at the end of the Further Reading list.) In the spirit of Brillat-Savarin, the volumes in this set look beyond nutrition to also consider various historical, political, and ethical aspects of food. Whether it’s the key role that sugar played in the slave trade, the implications of industrial meat production in the fight against climate change, or the short-sighted political decisions that resulted in the water catastrophe in Flint, Michigan, the Know Your Food series introduces students to the ways in which a meal can be, in a real sense, much more than just a meal.


SERIES Introduction T K TK


Chapter 1 Fiber Basics W ords to U nderstand carbohydrate: one of the three main nutrients in food; carbohydrates include sugars and starches, which the body turns into energy. carcinogen: any substance that can cause cancer in a living organism. diabetes: a disease caused by having too much blood sugar, or glucose, in the blood. fermentable: a substance that can be chemically broken down by bacteria or other microorganisms. legume: a plant belonging to the pea family, with fruits or seeds that grow in pods. resistant starches: starches that are not digested but turned into healthy fatty acids in the gut. soluble: something that is able to be dissolved in water. viscosity: the thickness of a given fluid.

whole grain: grains that have been minimally processed and contain all three main parts of the grain—the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. F iber. We all know it’s good for us, but just saying the word conjures images of bland bowls of shredded wheat or glasses of grainy supplements dissolved in water—not necessarily the most appetizing stuff. We might think that fiber is only important for older people, since it always seems that grandparents are more concerned about it than anyone else.



The truth is that everybody needs fiber as part of a healthy, well-balanced diet, and it doesn’t have to come from cereals that have the taste and texture of cardboard. Fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes , and even popcorn are all great sources of fiber that can be mixed and matched and spiced up to ensure you get your daily fill. And while fiber is often associated with digestive health, there’s a lot more to it than that. Fiber can also reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes, lower blood cholesterol, and keep us feeling fuller longer so that we don’t overeat. S oluble versus I nsoluble F iber Fiber, sometimes referred to as “roughage” or “bulk,” is a carbohydrate . More specifically, it is a carbohydrate that cannot be digested or absorbed—in fact, it passes from your mouth through your stomach and intestines and out of your body pretty much unchanged. Fiber is found in plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains .

Carrots provide a good amount of soluble fiber.


Fiber Basics

The two main types of fiber are soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water during digestion to create a gel-like substance. This slows down the digestive process and removes excess fluids from the colon, making soluble fiber a particularly good remedy for diarrhea. It also improves heart health by removing cholesterol particles from the digestive tract. People with diabetes (a condition where the body can’t properly use its main source of energy, a sugar called glucose) can benefit from soluble fiber, since it slows absorption of sugar and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Soluble fibers are sometimes classified by viscosity , meaning the thickness of the gel-like substance each fiber makes within the digestive tract. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, so it stays in the same form throughout digestion. It’s recommended for people suffering from constipation. This is because, by pulling water into the colon, it speeds up the digestive process and acts as a natural laxative. Also, by adding bulk to the diet, it helps the body make stools that are easier to pass. Other digestive issues, including hemorrhoids (swollen veins in the rectum that Apples are a source of both types of fiber; the inside of an apple contains soluble fiber, while the skin has insoluble fiber.




No Calories

One strange-but-true thing about fiber is that, since your body does not actually digest it, it contains no calories. When you eat fiber-rich foods

can cause bleeding) and diverticulosis (a condition where small pockets develop in the digestive tract that may become infected), can benefit from insoluble fiber. Most plant-based foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, but some foods are higher in one than the other. Foods rich in soluble fiber include oats, barley, beans, lentils, carrots, and apples. Wheat bran, whole grains, nuts, zucchini, broccoli, and potatoes are all good sources of insoluble fiber. I ndividual F ibers Within the categories of soluble and insoluble fiber is a whole variety of individual fibers, each with its own name, food sources, and health benefits. It can be difficult to try and track all these different types of fiber in your diet, so it’s best to eat a broad range of plant-based foods to make sure you’re getting enough. Here are a few important fibers, what they do, and where you can find them: • Cellulose. This main component of plant cell walls is an insoluble fiber found in nuts, grains, seeds, brown rice, and fruit and vegetable skins. It acts as a natural laxative and can prevent the onset of diverticulosis. • Pectin . A soluble fiber, pectin is found in citrus fruits and berries. Besides being a great digestive aid, it can also lower cholesterol. that absorb a lot of water, you end up feeling fuller than you would eating low-fiber foods that have more calories. Plus, high-fiber foods take longer to eat because they need to be chewed really well and not just wolfed down. This helps with portion control and maintaining a healthy weight. ▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲


Fiber Basics

The type of fiber in berries is called pectin.




Chicory Root Fiber

Chicory is a plant grown for its edible salad leaves and hearty root. The root is sometimes roasted and ground and used in place of coffee—it has a similar taste, is much cheaper to produce, and is naturally caffeine-free for those who can’t tolerate regular brews. Traditional “chicory coffee” is a blend of coffee and the root. It’s a favorite beverage in New Orleans, where it’s often served with a large helping of warm milk—a method called au lait , from the French for “with milk.” Chicory is also high in the soluble fiber inulin. Manufacturers extract inulin from chicory root and add it to many different products, especially fiber bars, cereals, and granolas. Its natural sweetness and smooth, palatable texture make it an attractive supplement for people put off by blander, drier fiber. The problem is, because its taste and texture make it easy to sneak into chocolate-covered breakfast bars or sugary cereals, it is easy to eat too much. This can cause gas, cramping, bloating, and other digestive issues.

Chicory coffee is a popular beverage at New Orleans restaurants like Café du Monde, where it is often served with a type of square donut called a beignet.



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