A diet high in fiber has several benefits, including:
.1. Fiber helps you maintain a healthy weight and can help you lose weight.
- Foods high in fiber are bulky and low in calories, filling you up.
- Foods high in fiber take longer to chew, giving your body time to register that you’re no longer hungry before you overeat.
- Foods high in fiber slow digestion, making you feel full longer.
- Fiber binds up fat as it passes through your digestive system, and the fat gets eliminated along with the fiber.
- Soluble fiber slows digestion and gives your body more time to absorb nutrients.
2. Soluble fiber lowers total cholesterol by picking up and excreting some of the excess LDL (bad) cholesterol, thereby lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
3. Soluble fiber helps regulate blood sugar by slowing the absorption of sugar, which helps improve blood sugar levels for diabetics and reduces the chance of insulin spikes that can lead to the formation of kidney stones and gallstones.
4. Insoluble fiber cures constipation because it moves food through your digestive tract and keeps you regular.
5. High fiber foods offer significant protection against cancer (including colon cancer) and heart disease, lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and diverticular disease (small pouches in your colon), may provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome, and may prevent or reduce severity of stroke and improve chances of recovery.
The USDA recommends 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed, so if you eat a 2,000 calorie per day diet, you should be getting 28 grams of fiber daily. If you’re like most Americans, you are eating less than half the recommended amount.
Fiber is only found in whole or minimally processed plant foods (there is no fiber in meat, fish, dairy, eggs, or foods made from processed and refined sugar and/or flour). The best way to get your fiber is by eating a diet rich in whole, plant-based foods.
Foods rich in fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes (beans, lentils, and peas), nuts, and seeds. Most plant-based foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, and some contain more of one type or the other.
Soluble fiber is typically found in the fleshy inner portion of vegetables and fruits; insoluble fiber is concentrated in the skin, peel, or outer covering of whole, plant-based foods.