A lot of people do not have the required quantity of fiber needed for optimum health maintenance. If your goal is to achieve weight loss, insufficient daily fiber consumption is not only disastrous, but will stop you from reaching your goal.
Fiber has many benefits. Apart from helping us minimize the risk of developing harmful diseases, it can also assist in achieving long- term weight loss.
This write-up provides detailed explanation about fiber, its benefits, diseases it combats, how it helps in weight loss control and how we can get more of it in our daily diets.
Dietary fiber refers to complex carbohydrate which cannot be digested. Although, fibers are of various kind, however, for the sake of this write-up, we shall classify fiber into two broad categories. They are insoluble and soluble fiber. While the soluble fiber dissolves in water, the insoluble fiber does not. The insoluble fiber is also called roughage because it passes through the body intact and also helps in cleaning the digestive systems. All plant foods contain fiber.
Fiber cannot be digested but it plays very important roles in our daily diet. Here are its benefits.
Insoluble fiber remains intact in the stomach. It also assists in cleaning the intestines. This fiber absorbs water as it passes through the body.
Soluble fiber is broken down as soon as it reaches the bowel. Here, it is acted upon by natural bacteria which feed and multiply on it.
Fiber slows down the rate of digestion and this result in a more gradual emptying of food from the stomach.
Fiber prevents constipation. This is done by increasing the quantity and softness of stools through the increase of water absorption and the growth of natural bacteria mentioned above.
Since fiber aids softness of stools, they make stools to be quickly and easily ejected from digestive system. Hence, the rate at which our bodies are exposed to potential toxins is limited by fiber.
Although, there is on-going research about the health benefits of fiber, the roles it plays in disease control are numerous. Among them are:
In addition, most food that are low in fat are also rich in fibre. Such foods are also good sources of other nutrients that help in controlling these and other serious medical conditions.
The role of fiber in weight loss is so crucial that it has been popularly referred to as the weight watcher’s dream.
According to research, people who consume fiber- rich foods have lower body weights. Besides, their body mass index and body fat are relatively low. Many researchers are of the opinion that high rate of obesity occurs among western nations (where diets are low in fiber content) compared with other regions of the world like Africa and Asia (where diets are predominantly plant based).
The Recommend Daily Intake (RDI) for dietary fiber is approximately given as 30 gram per day. It is unfortunate to discover that many processed foods are deficient in the required quantity of fiber; hence, a lot of people get less than what is required.
Just as fiber consumption is essential, consuming over 50 gram per day is over consumption. This can result in health complications like diarrhea and bloating. It can also affect the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals into the body.
The best way of getting more fiber in your daily diet is by increasing the consumption rate of complex carbohydrates. The body requires time to make adjustment to the increase in fiber intake as excessive increase can result to bloating, gas, diarrhea and discomfort. There is need to increase water intake as you increase your daily fiber intake. Gradual addition of fiber in your daily diet is essential to prevent the problems mentioned above.
Eating varieties of these fiber-rich foods is the best and surest way of getting fiber in your daily diet. Ensure you start slowly as you introduce more fiber into your diet. Effects a change at a time to enable your body get sufficient time for adjustment.
An easy way to identify the fiber content of a food is by reading food labels on the Nutritional Food Tables. You will discover if a food contain a little, lot of fiber or no fiber at all.
Foods with high fiber content should contain at least 3 gram of fiber per serve while those food that are source of fiber should contain no less than 1.5 gram of fiber per serve.
Fiber supplement becomes necessary the moment your diet lacks sufficient fiber. Note that the preferred source of fiber is fresh foods.
However, should you decide to seek help on the need to increase the fiber in our diet, consult an experienced dietitian, nutritionist or a qualified health professional.
Sufficient fiber intake is essential for your health. However, it is more important for you to have weight loss goals. Endeavor to get enough fiber in your diets today.