Whether you’re trying to lose weight, or just want to maintain a healthy diet, you’ve probably heard a lot about fiber. Everyone keeps reminding you to increase your fiber intake. But why?
It’s important to recognize that there are two types of dietary fiber, and both are important. Insoluble fiber keeps your digestive system running smoothly, prevents constipation, and lowers your risk of colon cancer. You can get insoluble fiber from vegetables, whole grains, and wheat bran.
Soluble fiber absorbs water in your digestive tract, like a sponge. This type of fiber softens your stool, slows absorption of sugar, lowers cholesterol, protects against heart disease, and feeds the beneficial bacteria that live in your gut. You can get this type of fiber from nuts, seeds, beans, peas, wheat bran, and some produce.
You need both types of fiber in your diet, but there’s no need to get overly hung up on measuring and balancing the two different types. Just eat a healthy, well-rounded diet, concentrating on whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, peas, seeds, nuts, and so on. All plant-based foods contain fiber, although the overly processed versions won’t contain much (such as white flour, white rice, or fruit juices).
There’s one more benefit of a high-fiber diet that might interest you: Fiber helps you feel full for longer after eating a meal. So, you will feel satisfied on fewer calories, and stave off cravings in between meals. Aside from the obvious health reasons, this is another great motivation to include plenty of fiber in your diet.
Fiber is just one part of a healthy, balanced weight loss diet. For more information on an eating plan that will help you accomplish your health goals, call us to schedule a personal appointment.