If you’re the type who reads up on health articles and articles concerning weight loss, you probably have come across the advice to consume more dietary fiber. This can be found mainly in fruits and vegetables including grain and legumes. So fiber is very easy to get, as long as you incorporate fruits and vegetables in your diet, you will get your supply of fiber. Most of us know that fiber aids in digestion, but this is not the only way that fiber benefits our bodies. Did you know that fiber also lessens the risk of heart disease and diabetes?
So what exactly is dietary fiber? There are two types of dietary fiber: insoluble fiber and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber is the kind of fiber that doesn’t dissolve in water and is passed through relatively intact in the stool. This type of fiber is especially useful for people who suffer from regular bouts of constipation and watery stool. You can usually find this type of fiber in fibrous vegetables like leeks, onions and cabbage. It can also be found in whole wheat and nuts.
Insoluble fiber on the other hand takes on a gel-like form since this type of fiber can be dissolved in water. This type of fiber can help lower blood sugar and blood cholesterol, which is a good practice to lower risk of heart disease and diabetes. Soluble fiber can be found in oats, beans, carrots and barley.
Here are some of the benefits that you can get from eating a diet that is high in fiber:
- Aids in good digestion. The roughage that fiber provides makes stool pass easier in the digestive tract. Fiber can also give relief to people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.
- Lowering of blood cholesterol levels. As mentioned, the lowering of blood cholesterol levels reduces the risk of having heart diseases as well as diabetes. People who are already suffering from these conditions will still benefit from the lowered cholesterol levels in the blood.
- Lowering of blood glucose levels. People with diabetes will especially benefit from this since soluble fiber decreases the absorption of sugar in the body.
- Helps in weight loss and weight management. High fiber food can make a person feel full without necessarily consuming as much calories compared to other types of food. This is because the bulk that is not absorbed by the body tends to make a person feel full, which also keeps him fuller for longer.
To get the most amount of fiber in your diet, load up on fruits and vegetables. You should also choose breads and pastas that are made from whole grains. This also goes for your breakfast cereals and snacks. You might want to consider high-fiber options for between meal snacks such as dried nuts, dried fruits and fruit cups. Fresh fruit juices with pulp also provide a good source of fiber.