Fiber refers to certain types of carbohydrates that our body cannot digest. These carbohydrates pass through the intestinal tract intact and help to move waste out of the body.
Diets that are low in fiber have been shown to cause problems such as constipation and hemorrhoids and to increase the risk for certain types of cancers such as colon cancer.
Diets high in fiber; however, have been shown to decrease risks for heart disease, obesity, and they help lower cholesterol. Foods high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, and whole grain products. (See the 4 Fs of Bowel Health post for a more detailed list of high fiber foods.)
Fiber helps to keep everything moving down and out.
The majority of American women do not get enough daily fiber. Most people should aim for 25–35 grams of fiber a day.
An added bonus to fiber is that it keeps you feeling fuller longer, as well as slowing down the absorption of sugars and the release of those sugars into your bloodstream.
If you are not used to eating a fiber rich diet you need to take it slow! Don’t just start eating all the high fiber foods that you can find. Start with a little bit at a time and increase your intake by one fiber rich food every two -three days depending on how your gut is responding.
You cannot just increase your fiber without increasing your fluid intake. You will end up with a lot of gas and possibly even more stopped up!
Keep in mind that losing weight and being healthy are so much more than just choosing a “diet plan” and following it.
Are you interested in learning more about ditching dieting for good? You can read more about it by clicking HERE.