Discover the health benefits of fiber

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Did you know that there are numerous fiber health benefits? While many of us have heard of this necessary substance, relatively few are aware of why it is such an important part of a balanced diet. Whether referring to choosing the appropriate fiber foods for weight loss or cardiovascular health is your top priority, it is a good idea to take a look at the role that fiber plays as well as its main advantages.

What is fiber? Know the different types

When I was in college, I learned that fiber, also called roughage, was important, so I added a few tablespoons of raw wheat bran to a cup of orange juice every morning. Later, as I studied more about nutrition, I learned more about fiber in the diet and why it matters. Here are the highlights.

Fiber from food comes from plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables and legumes. There is no fiber in meat.

Dietary fiber is the element in the food that your body can neither absorb nor digest. There are two main kinds of fiber. Let’s take a look at their differences

Soluble fiber

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and turns into a gel. Soluble fiber is most commonly found in apples, carrots, citrus fruit, legumes such as beans and peas and grains such as oats and barley.

Insoluble fiber

Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water. As a result, its main function is to help move waste through your digestive system. It also makes your poo bulkier and easier to pass, so it’s an important thing to have if you suffer from constipation or irregularity. Good sources of insoluble fiber include vegetables, especially cauliflower, green beans and potatoes, nuts, beans and whole wheat flour.

Recommended amount of fiber

What Does Fiber Do?

It makes sense to begin with this seemingly straightforward question. In other words, what does fiber do in relation to our health and overall metabolism? While most of us are aware of the relationship between fiber and digestion, there are several other important roles to highlight.

Besides making your stool softer, bulkier and easier to pass, sufficient fiber in the diet also contributes to lowering cholesterol and controlling blood sugar. High fiber foods tend to be denser than low fiber foods. This makes them more filling, which will help you eat less and stay full longer.

One interesting action involves how fiber can help to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. This is crucial for those who are concerned about developing diabetes or who wish to enjoy a steady supply of energy throughout the day. Due to the fact that fiber tends to expand within the digestive tract, it can also help to stave off hunger pangs throughout the day.

What is the Recommended Amount of Fiber Per Day?

Determining the recommended amount of fiber needed will often depend upon age, activity and dietary habits. While standard guidelines signify 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men, those who are hoping to lose weight may actually choose to consume slightly more.

  • Women under 50 should aim for 25 grams of fiber a day.
  • Women over 50 can get by with 21.
  • For men under 50, shoot for 38 grams of fiber a day.
  • After age 50, men need only 31 grams a day.

However, we need to keep in mind that excessive levels of fiber can lead to instances of constipation in some individuals. This might actually offset the fiber health benefits that would otherwise be achieved. Should you suspect that this may represent an issue, it is normally wise to consume soluble forms of fiber as opposed to insoluble fibers (such as those found in flour, bran and nuts). This also leads us directly into the next section of the article.

Fiber foods for weight loss

A Look at Some Well-Known Examples of Fiber Foods

The good news is that this substance is found in a host of tasty foods. So, enjoying the associated fiber health benefits is rather straightforward. Here are some common examples:

  • Pasta made with whole wheat
  • Immature soybeans (also known as edamame)
  • Dark berries such as strawberries, raspberries and blackberries
  • Pears (these are an especially potent source of soluble fiber)
  • Avocados (a great replacement for other substances such as mayonnaise)

Note that these are only a handful of examples of fiber foods that can be found at most grocery stores and supermarkets. They can also be quickly incorporated into your diet so that you are receiving the nutrients that you require.

How to Include Fiber Foods for Weight Loss Needs

First and foremost, there is still a bit of debate in regard to the proportion of fiber that should be included in a diet plan. Experts nonetheless seem to agree that foods high in fiber should represent approximately one-quarter of all calories consumed within a given day. This arises from the simple fact that fiber helps individuals feel fuller for longer periods of time.

Most people get woefully little fiber, largely because they eat a lot of processed foods or too much meat, chicken, fish, milk, cheese, and butter which have little to no fiber. The more natural a plant-based food source is, chances are, the higher the amount of fiber it will contain.

It is also a good idea to experiment with different types of foods due to the relationship between fiber and digestion mentioned earlier. For example, to boost your fiber intake dramatically, you can do what I used to do and add some raw wheat bran to your orange juice. Not too much though, or it gets too sludgy and gross to drink. Or you can up your intake of fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, nuts, seeds and foods baked with whole-grains.

You can also take a look online in order to discover unique and sumptuous recipes that can be created within relatively short periods of time. It is also wise to begin cooking with ingredients that represent natural sources of fiber (such as barley, oats and potatoes).

The key takeaway point here is to remember to obtain all of the necessary vitamins and nutrients alongside healthy doses of fiber. This will help to ensure that your body is provided with the “fuel” required to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle.

Embrace a High-Fiber Diet Alongside Your Spatz3 Gastric Balloon

Many individuals who have recently been fitted with a Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon are also keen to embrace healthier lifestyles in order to achieve their weight loss goals. Dietary fiber is a crucial component of this equation due to its naturally beneficial effects.

Furthermore, these very same fiber health benefits will help to improve the functionality of your digestive tract. Feel free to refer back to this article for future inspiration and as always, do not hesitate to perform additional online research.

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