Five Things You Need to Know About Fiber

Always hungry no matter how much you eat? Your diet may be lacking in fiber, which is essential to generating the satisfied feeling everyone wants after a good meal. Instead of adding more empty calories chasing that satisfied feeling, look at your diet and decide whether you have enough fiber.980x

  • Fiber relieves constipation and provides regular bowel movements, increasing your comfort level throughout the day. Fiber found in roughage, or the indigestible portion of vegetables, speeds through the digestive system, picking up water as it goes. This process not only allows for regular and full bowel movements, but it also more quickly eliminates the waste in the colon. Good digestive health impacts every aspect of a healthy lifestyle and adding fiber naturally found in healthy foods is the fastest and easiest way to improve your digestive health.
  • Fiber helps you feel fuller longer, reducing the odds that you’ll reach for junk food in the middle of the day when you might otherwise still feel hungry. If you’re eating the recommended calories for your body type and still feeling hungry, try adding fiber to see if you can stay fuller longer without resorting to the vending machine. A diet high in fiber is commonly associated with an increased ability to lose or maintain weight.
  • Fiber is relatively easy to find in most common foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and seeds. By now, we all know that real food is almost always better than adding supplements, but fiber-enhanced supplements do exist if your doctor believes you need to add more fiber to your diet. By simply adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet, you can increase your fiber and other key nutrients your body needs to function at its best.
  • According to Mayo Clinic, fiber does more than just fill you up throughout the day; it may also help you maintain a healthy weight while lowering your risk for diabetes and certain heart diseases. Fiber controls your blood sugar by slowing down the body’s absorption of sugar, which helps prevent blood sugar crashes and Type 2 diabetes.
  • It’s easy to add natural fiber to your diet. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that women aim for 25 grams of fiber and that men aim for 38 grams of fiber daily. If you worry your diet is low in fiber, it’s relatively easy to add more convenient, high-fiber foods to reach your goal. For example, according to numbers provided by Mayo Clinic, only one cup of raspberries has 8.0 grams of fiber; an oat bran muffin has 5 grams of fiber; and a single cup of black beans has 15 grams of fiber. If you added these three foods to a healthy meal plan, you would be well on your way to a diet that meets the recommended fiber requirements.

Do you consider fiber when you make a meal plan? Try adding more natural fiber-filled foods to your diet and see whether you can tell a difference!

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