Awesome Reasons To Add More Fiber To Your Diet
We've all heard that we should "get more fiber" in our diets. The topic of fiber usually comes up when people talk about needing to be 'regular' regarding their restroom visits. And while fighting constipation is definitely a great reason to increase your total fiber consumption, there are a number of other excellent health benefits that are often overlooked.
It's important to remember that while increasing your fiber intake is a good thing, too much of it can also lead to more problems. There's certainly a balance to be had with fiber intake; the recommended amount of daily fiber consumption is approximately 25 grams a day for females and 38 grams a day for males.
Because fiber is such an integral part of a healthy diet, it's important to consider the different amounts of fiber in each type of food we eat, especially when considering a ketogenic diet and net carbs [link "net carbs" to net carbs article, delete this after].What Is Fiber?
Fiber is a term used to describe the carbohydrates within the food that our body doesn't digest. It's broadly split into two categories: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber can dissolve in water and is easily metabolized, or used to create energy, by our bodies. During digestion, it creates a gel-like substance that coats the digestive tract and reduces the absorbency rate of our food's contents like cholesterol.
Insoluble fiber reacts a bit differently with water. Where soluble fiber dissolves with water, insoluble fiber actually attracts water and makes waste easier to pass with less bowel strain.
4 Fantastic Health Benefits of Fiber1. Blood Sugar Control
According to the Mayo Clinic, consuming soluble fiber helps to slow down the absorption of the sugar in our foods which helps to improve blood sugar levels. Additionally, healthy diets that include insoluble fiber can also reduce the development of type 2 diabetes.2. Aids in Weight Loss
While fiber in and of itself doesn't have any fat-burning 'super powers', it can help people lose weight by making them feel more full faster. WebMD states that a study found that when people added more fiber intake in their diets, they lost just as much weight as people who were following a low-fat eating plan from the American Heart Association.3. Digestion
As mentioned earlier, people mostly know the benefits of fiber because of...poop. Since fiber acts as a bulking agent, it aids digestion by traveling through the digestive tract faster which reduces the risk of constipation.4. Can Lower Cholesterol
A total of 67 controlled trials were studied to determine that soluble fiber lowered both total and LDL cholesterol by approximately 0.13 mmol/L. This is because soluble fiber helps prevent cholesterol absorption during its time in the digestive tract. What's more, when combined with a good diet, increased fiber consumption has been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Fiber Is Everywhere, We Just Need To Find It
The benefits of a high-fiber diet are often overlooked. From the numerous health benefits to the equally important help with digestion, it's important to add in a bit of fiber wherever you can. The USDA has an excellent database that contains lots of relevant nutritional information for just about any food you can think of. A raw red delicious apple with skin has around two grams of fiber per 100 grams consumed while dry dark red kidney beans have around four grams of fiber per 100 grams consumed.
We encourage you to search a few of your main dietary staples if you're unsure of their fiber content or dive into the food categories to discover some new tasty options!
And when you need your healthy food and fiber fix on the go, we've got a cookie for that.