LYNN GOLDSTEIN, MS, RD: Fiber's been a little controversial as of late with all the studies, "Yes, it's good for colon cancer," "No, it's not." But, in general, fiber has so many good factors to it, as far as regulating our bowel function, preventing constipation, keeping us fuller longer, which helps fight obesity.
There are two kinds of fiber, insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is soluble in water and that's what it means. So it actually collects water as it's moving through the GI tract or through the gastrointestinal tract. And what that does is help bulk up the stool, so it gives form to your stool.
Insoluble fiber is not soluble in water, so it helps speeds up transit time in the gut to make things move faster. And, in doing that, it cleans out our system and takes any carcinogens that might be in our system and gets rid of them more quickly, so they don't sit in our gut and in our colon for long periods of time.
Fiber also helps bulk up your diet, so it keeps you fuller longer, so it helps fight obesity. Obesity is another significant risk factor for colon cancer as well, so fiber is beneficial in doing that.
ANNOUNCER: Low-fat dairy products like skim or low-fat milk, non-fat yogurt and cheeses are also important.
LYNN GOLDSTEIN, MS, RD: Dairy products have certain items in them like calcium, which has been shown to help reduce your risk of colon cancer. Also has vitamin D, same thing, also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer as well. Also has probiotics and probiotics are healthy gut bacteria that help regulate the gut.
ANNOUNCER: And water is the one thing no healthy body can do without.