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High Fiber Diet Menu: Needed or Not?
- The American Dietetic Association recommends that you eat between 20 and 35 grams of fiber each day.
- Because fiber is rich in essential micronutrients, a diet that is high in fiber will help keep you fit and healthy.
With all the contrasting health information out there, you may be confused about whether fiber is important or not. Some experts say yes, some say no, and others simply do not say because they are not sure.
If fiber is needed, how much should you eat every day to get the maximum health benefits? The American Dietetic Association recommends that you eat between 20 and 35 grams of fiber each day. Fiber is found in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
Fiber actually offers many health benefits, such as lowering blood cholesterol levels, helping prevent constipation and slowing down the digestion process so that you feel fuller longer. This feeling is created because foods high in fiber are harder to digest, taking your body longer to break them down. This is how fiber plays an important role in weight loss. Because fiber makes you feel fuller long, you are likely to take in fewer calories each day.
Other benefits of a high-fiber diet include keeping your body mass index (BMI) lower, leaving you with less body fat and more lean muscle; reducing your risk for colon cancer by as much as 40 percent; helping your body regulate glucose and insulin levels in the bloodstream, and aiding in the prevention of type 2 diabetes.
Getting a significant amount of fiber from your diet is important, but if you’re thinking about increasing your fiber intake, make sure to start slow. For example, if you go from eating 10 grams of fiber to 30 grams of fiber a day, you will probably experience constipation and severe abdominal discomfort. Drinking lots of liquids, particularly water, can aid in alleviating these problems by helping move the fiber along in the digestive tract.
There are many ways that you can add fiber to your diet. Simply eating more fruits and vegetables each day would increase your fiber intake significantly. Try snacking on an apple instead of potato chips. Apples contain a fiber called pectin that can prevent your arteries from clogging up.
There are two types of fiber, each with its own benefits for you and your body: soluble and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber can be dissolved in water, making it easier to break down than insoluble fiber. It is found in strawberries, oatmeal, pears, and apples. Soluble fiber is beneficial by helping keep blood sugar levels lower after you eat and preventing your body from absorbing cholesterol in the intestines.
Insoluble fiber is found in lettuce, whole grains, tomatoes, and carrots. This type of fiber does not dissolve in water. It has been found to help reduce your risk for colon cancer, hemorrhoids and varicose veins. Insoluble fiber can also help you maintain regular bowel movements and ward off obesity by making you feel fuller longer.
In order to get the full benefits of fiber, it’s important to include both insoluble and soluble fiber in your regular diet. Many foods contain both types. Because fiber is rich in essential micronutrients, a diet that is high in fiber will help keep you fit and healthy.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Healthy Menu23 Oct 2008|