Facts on Fiber

Maybe they don't prevent colon cancer, but fruits, vegetables and bran are still good for you

About three years ago, I started sprinkling a mixture of oat bran, wheat bran and wheat germ on my oatmeal every morning. Like many Americans, I'd heard about the studies linking a diet high in fiber--found in cereal grains, fruits and vegetables--to the prevention of heart disease and colon cancer. I figured I couldn't go wrong.

But it wasn't that simple. I quickly learned that you shouldn't shovel a lot of bran into your system all at once. You get bloated and gassy and suffer abdominal cramps from the sudden onslaught of all that indigestible bulk. Once I got over the...

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