High Fiber Diet
High Fiber Diet – Even when taking into account some of the less well founded claims surrounding the health benefits of fiber. Its more established benefits are enough to warrant its inclusion in our daily diet.
Not only is fiber effective in removing waste from the body, it’s also useful in treating and preventing constipation and haemorrhoids, as well as diverticulosis, a painful condition in which small sacs develop in the weak areas of the intestinal wall.
The benefits of following a diet high in fiber are such that few of us shout about them (at least not in polite society), but when you consider that Americans spend around $725 million annually on laxatives, most of us can recognize the role fiber has to play in our eating habits.
Benefits of High diet
As well as the more established benefits of fiber, there’s also the suggestion that a diet high in fiber may help reduce the risk of high cholesterol. Cholesterol is a major component of bile acids, which the body excretes once they’ve been used in the digestion of fats.
As soluble fiber adheres to these acids, this has led to the suggestion that a diet high in fiber may help increase the excretion of cholesterol from the body. Some types of fiber seem to be more effective than others, and the fiber in rolled oats is believed to have a greater effect in lowering blood cholesterol levels than the fiber found in wheat.
Fiber prevent Cancer
Other claims suggest that fiber may help reduce the risk of contracting some types of cancers, particularly colon cancer. Insoluble fiber helps increase the rate at which waste is expelled from the body, thereby reducing the body’s exposure to the toxic substances which are produced during the digestive process.
Fiber may also help those who are on a weight loss diet, as although fiber contains no calories, it provides a “full” feeling due to its ability to absorb water.
In addition, high-fiber foods need to be chewed for longer so it’s difficult to consume a large number of calories in a short period of time. Fiber also slows down food digestion so you feel full for longer and are less tempted to snack in between meals
There are two types of fiber
Insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber increases the bulk of stools, and helps waste move through the colon faster. It is found in wheat bran, whole grains, vegetables, and nuts.
Soluble fiber softens stools making it easier for the body to eliminate them. Soluble fiber is found in vegetables, fruits, and grains (e.g. citrus fruits, apples, barley, oats, beans, and flax seed).
Although we should be including fiber in our diet, according to the American Dietetic Association, we’re not consuming enough (hence, no doubt, the huge sums spent on laxatives each year).
While we should be eating between 20 and 35 grams of fiber a day, the average American is currently consuming around 12 to 15 grams.
Anyone wanting to introduce fiber into their diet should take it slowly, though. If you’re not used to eating fiber then you need to give your body time to adjust. Consuming too much too fast could result in gas and bloating.
In addition, as each fiber particle absorbs water from the intestines and colon, it’s important to drink plenty of water when eating fiber-rich foods.
It’s best to get your fiber intake from a whole-foods diet —food contains nutrients that supplements don’t. However, if you’re concerned that your diet isn’t providing you with an adequate quantity of fiber, there are a number of supplements on the market.
If you decide to increase your fiber consumption with supplements, you will still need to up your water intake and increase fiber into your diet gradually.