9 Facts About Fiber You Need to Know

healthy eating

Did you know that the FDA recommends between 20 and 30 grams of fiber per day, but most Americans aren’t eating half of that?

If you’ve been looking for a way towards a high octane diet, you’ll find fiber to be exactly what you need.  Even though research has shown fiber to be powerful, with benefits that range from weight management to cardiovascular health,  many people aren’t taking this nutrient seriously.

To help you fuel your health with fiber, here are 10 facts you’ll find helpful.

1.  Fiber fights diseases.  A diet high in fiber can help to prevent colon cancer and heart disease.  When fiber is eaten, food moves through the body faster, which some experts believe can prevent harmful substances found in some foods from affecting the colon and may protect against colon cancer. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids, and small pouches in your colon (also known as diverticular disease).

2.  Fiber can actually help with overeating.  All high fiber foods will take longer to chew and digest, making you feel satisfied longer. Foods rich in insoluble fiber can add bulk without calories to a diet, increasing a sense of fullness.

3.  High fiber helps the body to eliminate cholesterol by binding it in the digestive tract.  For thousands of years, fiber has been used to stop constipation. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flax seed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering “bad” cholesterol levels.

4.  Grains offer the most fiber.  Dietary fiber is actually plant matter that we cannot digest.  The best sources are whole grains and concentrated grain products.

5.  Kids need fiber as well.  Children that are older than 2 years of age should consume a daily intake of fiber.  Kids are most receptive to fiber found in fruits, vegetables, and even fortified breakfast cereals.

6.  More fiber needs more water.  In order to keep fiber moving through your digestive tract, you’ll need to consume a lot of water.  With your diet of fiber, you’ll need eight or more glasses of water every day.

7.  Fiber cannot be cooked out.  When you cook your fruits and vegetables, don’t worry about cooking the fiber out, as it stays.  The fiber found in fruits and vegetables aren’t just in the skin or in the peel.

8.  You can get too much fiber.  If you eat more than 50 grams of fiber in a day, you can get diarrhea and bloating, which can interfere with your body’s absorption of other key minerals.

9.  Getting the right amount of fiber in your diet doesn’t have to be hard.  Even though you may think so, getting the amount of fiber you need isn’t very hard to do.  All you have to do is eat the right foods and you’ll be well on your way to a fiber rich lifestyle.

Getting more fiber in your diet doesn’t have to mean a drastic change. In fact, it’s best to start slowly, in order to avoid constipation from getting too much fiber all at once. Many fiber-depleted foods in the diet can be replaced by high-fiber alternatives.

Fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber include:

  • Apples
  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Figs
  • Oranges
  • Pears
  • Peas
  • Prunes

Here are other good sources of fiber:

  • Bran muffins
  • Brown rice
  • Multi-grain cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Whole-wheat bread

As one of the key ingredients to healthy eating, fiber is something you don’t want to skip.  Fiber can serve many different purposes, which were covered above.  If you aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet right now, it is easy to change that by making different choices.

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