Why Eating a High Fiber Diet is Beneficial
“Eat more fiber” is a tale as old as time, except, it’s not a tale. For decades, doctors, nurses and health professionals alike have stated that incorporating fiber into your diet is highly recommended. But what is fiber and how can people benefit from a high fiber diet? Let’s dive in.
So, What is Fiber?
Fiber, also known as roughage, is found in plant foods and cannot be digested or absorbed by the body. As opposed to carbs, fats, or proteins, fiber passes through your body almost fully intact and there are two types, insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber promotes the movement of material through your digestive system and increases stool bulk, so it can benefit those who struggle with constipation or irregular stools. Insoluble fiber can be found in whole-wheat flour, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and potatoes. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels and is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, and barley.
And What Are the Benefits of Eating a High Fiber Diet?
There are a ton of pros to eating a high fiber diet but first let’s breakdown what it means. To put it simply, eating a high fiber diet means that you incorporate both insoluble and soluble fiber into your diet on a regular basis. This may seem like an easy thing to do, but in fact most people are significantly lacking fiber in their day-to-day. The benefits of eating a high fiber diet include:
Normalizing Your Bowels: While it’s not the prettiest thing to discuss, dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. This can decrease your chance of constipation and bloat as a result
- Maintaining Bowel Health: Studies have shown that a high-fiber diet lowers the risk of colorectal cancer. Because some fiber is fermented in the colon, researchers are looking at how this may play a role in preventing the disease
- Keeping Cholesterol Levels at Bay: Soluble fiber may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or "bad," cholesterol levels, as well as helping reduce blood pressure and inflammation
- Controlling Blood Sugar Levels: For those with diabetes, fiber can slow the absorption of sugar, helping to improve blood sugar levels and may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- Helps Maintain Weight: Foods that are high in fiber tend to be more filling than low-fiber foods, so overeating is less likely, resulting in fewer calories for the same volume of food
- Helps You Live Longer: Studies suggest that increasing your dietary fiber intake is associated with a reduced risk of dying from cardiovascular disease and all cancers
Eat Healthier, the SmartBox way.
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