Understand the Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber
There are many benefits of dietary fiber. The following points are a somewhat generalized list of the health benefits of a high-fiber diet:
- Normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may also help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool. For some, fiber may provide relief from irritable bowel syndrome.
- Helps maintain bowel integrity and health. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids, and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Some fiber is fermented in the colon. Researchers are looking at how this may play a role in preventing diseases of the colon.
- Lowers blood cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or "bad", cholesterol levels. Epidemiologic studies have shown that increased fiber in the diet can reduce blood pressure and inflammation, which is also protective to heart health.
- Helps control blood sugar levels. Fiber, particularly soluble fiber, can slow the absorption of sugar, which for people with diabetes can help improve blood sugar levels. A diet that includes insoluble fiber has been associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Aids in weight loss. High-fiber foods generally require more chewing time, which gives your body time to register when you are no longer hungry, so you are less likely to overeat. As well a high-fiber diet tends to make a meal feel larger and linger longer, so you stay full for a greater amount of time. High-fiber diets also tend to be less "energy dense," which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.
- Uncertain effect on colorectal cancer. Evidence that dietary fiber reduces colorectal cancer is mixed. Some studies show benefit, some show nothing and some suggest increased risk. If you are concerned about preventing colorectal cancer, adopt or continue with a colon cancer screening regimen. Regular testing for and removal of colon polyps can prevent colon cancer.
How Much Fiber Do You Need?
Age 50 & Younger
Age 51 & Older
Your Best Fiber Choices
If you aren't getting enough fiber each day, you may need to boost your intake. Good choices include:
- Grains and whole-grain products
- Beans, peas and other legumes
- Nuts and seeds
Refined or processed foods — such as canned fruits and vegetables and pulp-free juice, white bread and pasta, and non-whole-grain cereals — are lower in fiber content. The grain-refining process removes the outer coat (bran) from the grain, which lowers its fiber content. Similarly, removing the skin from fruits and vegetables decreases their fiber content.
Whole foods rather than fiber supplements are generally better. Fiber supplements — such as FibeRich. Always check with your doctor if you feel you need to take fiber supplements.
Fiber from FibeRich
There are many clinical studies that show the importance or a diet high in fiber. With such active lifestyles today, it can be difficult to main a high fiber diet. With the use of FibeRich you can get the dietary fiber needed to maintain a healthy digestive system along with the many other health benefits.
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