Why is dietary fiber so important?
The health benefits of fiber includes:
- helping to regulate blood sugar levels
- lowering cholesterol levels.
- maintaining a healthy weight, and
- potentially reducing your risk of some chronic diseases.
Fiber is a very important part of a healthy diet. It helps to keep you regular, by softening your stools and making them easier to pass. It also helps to reduce your risk of constipation and other digestive problems.
Eating enough fiber is important for overall good health, reasons being listed above and because…
- it is an important part of a healthy heart,
- can help you stay regular,
- promotes gut health.
An excellent way to get more fiber in your diet, and please your tastebuds, is to eat fruit. Here’s the thing, there are many health benefits of fruit, read more here.
How fiber works
- In order to control appetite and blood sugar levels, fiber helps the body consume glucose in a more controlled manner. This is due to fiber’s ability to regulate digestion and slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
- Fiber has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease by binding to cholesterol in the digestive tract, fiber helps remove it from the body before it can enter the bloodstream.
- There is also evidence that dietary fiber may help protect against colon cancer by keeping the digestive tract healthy by promoting regularity and preventing constipation. By doing so, it may help to reduce the amount of time that harmful toxins stay in contact with the colon.
So, how much fiber should you be getting?
The recommended dietary allowance for fiber is 25 grams per day for women, 38 grams per day for men. However, most Americans only consume about 15 grams of fiber per day on average.
What exactly is dietary fiber?
There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, while insoluble fiber does not. Both types of dietary fiber are important for good health.
Dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plant-based foods. It can’t be broken down or absorbed by the body, so it passes through the digestive system unchanged.
Soluble fiber can help to regulate blood sugar levels, and can also help to lower cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber is found in oats, beans, lentils, and flaxseeds.
Insoluble fiber helps to add bulk to your stool, and can also help to reduce constipation. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
Both types of dietary fiber are important for good health.
Foods that are high in dietary fiber
Health benefits of fiber come from eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes. The best way to get enough fiber is to eat a variety of these foods every day.
Types of fiber – soluble and insoluble:
- Psyllium comes from the husks of psyllium seeds, and is a soluble fiber that can absorb water and form a gel-like substance in the intestine. This helps to bulk up stools and make them easier to pass.
- Acacia is a dietary fiber that comes from the acacia tree. It is also soluble fiber that can help to reduce cholesterol and promote gut health.
- Quizlet is a type of dietary fiber that comes from the fruit of the plantain plant. It is a soluble fiber, too, and it can help to bulk up stools and make them easier to pass.
- Corn based fiber comes from the husks of corn kernels, and is a soluble fiber that can absorb water and form a gel-like substance in the intestine similar to psyllium.
- Wheat dextrin comes from the wheat plant, and is a soluble fiber that can absorb water and also form sa gel-like substance in the intestine.
- Soy fiber offers the significant health advantages typically associated with dietary fiber, such as better bowel movements and cholesterol-lowering properties. Soy beans offer both soluble and insoluble fiber.
- Oat fiber is made from its hulls and is an excellent source of insoluble fiber with a wide range of nutritional advantages. Having 9 grams of fiber per tablespoon, it will increase the amount of fiber in your diet.
Health benefits of fiber supplements
If you’re not getting enough dietary fiber from your food, you can take supplements to make up the difference. Fiber supplements come in powder or pill form, and can be added to water or other beverages. They can also be taken with food.
I’m a big believer in Just Better Fiber, a semi-recent discovery of mine. I switched from Benefiber. They are among the most popular fiber powders on the market. Just Better Fiber is non-GMO soluble corn based, and Benefiber uses wheat dextrin as their source of dietary fiber. Just Better Fiber is a powder that you can add to water or food. It has no flavor, taste or color and dissolves completely in whatever you use it in. I usually add it to my first glass of iced tea in the morning, and add some to my dinners, if it’s in a sauce, which is important because it also lowers the glycemic index on whatever starchy food I serve with it (usually pasta, rice or potatoes). Good stuff!
Fiber supplements can have a variety of health benefits, including:
- Reducing constipation
- Regulating blood sugar levels
- Lowering cholesterol
- Aiding in weight loss
If you’re considering taking a fiber supplement, be sure to talk to your doctor first. Some supplements can interact with medications you may be taking, and too much fiber can cause gastrointestinal distress. But if you’re not getting enough dietary fiber, a supplement can be a safe and effective way to increase your intake.
When you should NOT have fiber
There are a few times when you might want to avoid dietary fiber. If you’re experiencing gastrointestinal distress, such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, or bloating, reducing your dietary fiber intake may help. Fiber can also make these symptoms worse.
If you’re scheduled for a colonoscopy or other gastrointestinal procedure, you’ll likely be advised to limit your dietary fiber intake in the days leading up to the procedure. This is because a high-fiber diet can make it more difficult to get an accurate picture of the colon during a colonoscopy.
Generally, though, dietary fiber is safe for most people. It’s a nutrient that offers many health benefits, and most people should be able to get the recommended amount by eating a variety of fiber-rich foods.
Before buying fiber supplements…
- There are a variety of fiber supplements on the market, and they’re not all created equal. When you’re shopping for a fiber supplement, look for one that contains dietary fiber from a natural source.
- Avoid supplements that contain artificial ingredients, fillers, or added sugars. These can negate the health benefits of the dietary fiber and may cause gastrointestinal distress.
- Talk to your doctor about which type of dietary fiber supplement is right for you. They can help you choose a supplement that meets your needs and fits with any other medications you may be taking.
A healthy digestive tract and the prevention of conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer depend on it.
As you can see, dietary fiber offers a number of important health benefits. If you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet, consider adding more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes to your meals and snacks. Your body will thank you for it!
Health Benefits of Fiber Quick View FAQ:
Q: What is dietary fiber?
A: Dietary fiber is the component of a plant-based food that our bodies can not digest.
Q: What are some health benefits of dietary fiber
A: dietary fiber has been shown to regulate digestion, slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease and colon cancer.
Q: How much dietary fiber do I need?
A: The recommended dietary allowance for fiber is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men.
Q: Why is dietary fiber important?
A: dietary fiber is important for a number of reasons. It can help to regulate digestion, control blood sugar levels, and lower cholesterol levels. Additionally, dietary fiber may also help protect against colon cancer.
Q: What foods are high in dietary fiber?
A: Some foods that are high in dietary fiber include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes.
Q: How can you get more dietary fiber in your diet?
A: To get more dietary fiber in your diet, consider adding more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and legumes to your meals and snacks. You can also look for foods that are high in dietary fiber or take a dietary fiber supplement.
Q: Why you should make sure to get enough dietary fiber every day.
A: Dietary fiber offers a number of important health benefits. If you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet, you may be at risk for conditions like constipation, diabetes, heart disease, and colon cancer.