Fiber is one of the most underrated nutrients while some simply forget to realize its worth. Nutritionists have long been reminding us of its importance not just for our diet but overall wellbeing, too.
Internist Nate Favini said that most people in the United States only consume half the recommended fiber intake, which is probably because the majority opts for tasty fast food, which is usually devoid of nutrients.
The two types of fiber are soluble and insoluble. Simply put, soluble ones, including carrots, apples, barley, and oats, dissolve and become gel-like substances, which aids in slow digestion. Meanwhile, the other kind, like green beans, potatoes, and cauliflower, doesn’t dissolve and holds its shape as it goes through the body, helping food pass through the tract.
For Weight Loss
If you’re trying to shed pounds, you may have noticed how many diet plans involve a significant amount of fiber – and that’s because it really does help. Foods rich in this nutrient make you feel full for a longer period because it slows down digestion.
As such, you won’t have random cravings in between meals, which means you will consume fewer calories, and therefore, you will lose weight.
To Avoid Blood Sugar Spikes
Because most fibrous foods rank low in the glycemic index, they don’t cause blood sugar levels to spike. Glycemic index refers to the scale of food and how it can impact a person’s blood sugar – technically, the lower the better.
For diabetic patients, it is highly crucial to monitor their blood sugar level because constant spikes may lead to a multitude of problems. As such, Dr. Nate explained that eating foods rich in fiber will slow down the body’s absorption of sugar, thereby stabilizing and regulating the levels.
Of course, it goes without saying that those who have diabetes shouldn’t rely solely on fibrous foods. They must also decrease their sugar intake.
For Heart Health
Fiber also aids in promoting a healthy heart because it limits the amount of cholesterol thrown into the bloodstream. Around 5 to 10 additional grams of this soluble nutrient on top of the recommended intake can reduce the bad cholesterol, scientifically known as low-density lipoprotein.
Heart diseases are linked to high cholesterol levels, so those who have a high-fiber diet have a low chance of developing hypertension and stroke.
To Aid in Constipation
One of the most well-known benefits of fiber is its capability to address constipation by adding bulk to your waste. This sort of pushes the stool out of the body.
However, note that fiber can also worsen constipation – that is, if you are dehydrated. Because of this, you need to increase your water intake as you eat more fibrous foods.