Fiber: the most overlooked but necessary ingredient

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Most people focus on protein and the number of grams they need to consume, but often overlook the amount of fiber they’re consuming. Majority of Americans don’t eat enough fiber, which leads to many digestive issues. With the right amount, you can have a much healthier digestive track which will allow you to utilize that protein more efficiently.

Benefits

  • Normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. This helps make it easier to pass, making it less likely you’ll be constipated.
  • Helps maintain bowel health. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease).
  • Lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or “bad,” cholesterol levels. 
  • Helps control blood sugar levels. Fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels in people who have diabetes. A healthy diet may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Aids in achieving healthy body weight. High-fiber foods tend to be more filling than low-fiber foods so you’re more likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer. And they tend to take longer to eat and to be less “energy dense,” which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food. More bang for your buck!

How much fiber is needed?

If you’re female, you need at least 25 grams of fiber daily. For men, the requirement is higher right around 38 grams a day. Be sure to include the following foods in your daily diet:

  • Whole-grain products
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans, peas and other legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

What’s your favorite high-fiber food?

 


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