Fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate and lignin that are found in the edible part of plants or analogous carbohydrates. Fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and has to pass through the body without digestion.
What Are the Different Types of Fiber?
There are two different types of Fiber:
Soluble: this type of fiber can be dissolved in water
Insoluble: this type of fiber cannot be dissolved in water Soluble fibers help lower the glucose levels in the body, which essentially lowers cholesterol levels and manages weight as well.
You can find soluble fibers in foods such as:
- Apples and Blueberries
Insoluble fibers help move the food through the digestive tract, helping with regularity and constipation or other bowel issues.
You can find insoluble fibers in foods such as:
- Whole grain
- Brown Rice
- Cucumbers and tomatoes
What is the Recommended Amount of Fiber to Consume?
Most people only ingest about 15 grams of fiber each day. The recommended amount for both children and adults needs to be around 20 to 30 grams a day to stay regular and in good health. For those who are not sure how to increase you daily amount of fiber, there are a few suggestions.
The best ways to receive an increase of fiber are:
- Replace white grains with whole grain products
- Eat fresh vegetables and whole fruits for a quick snack
- Eat more nuts and beans
What Are the Health Benefits of Fiber?
Not only will fiber satisfy hungry and keep weight under control, cholesterol, and blood sugar under control, but it has many more health benefits.
Fiber can also be used to prevent illnesses such as:
Heart Disease – promotes healthy cholesterol
Type 2 Diabetes - promotes a decrease in high blood sugar
Diverticular Disease – promotes regularity and helps with constipation
Constipation – Insoluble fiber allows water to remain in the stool which makes it easier to pass. Soluble fiber adds bulk to the stool, which allows it to pass through the tract faster.
It has been shown that high fiber diets have been able to prevent these illnesses with the proper diet.