Consuming Fiber – Are You Getting Enough?

Consuming Fiber - Are You Getting Enough?Your doctor, nurse, or personal trainer has told you this before: “eat more fiber.”  While this may be nothing new to you, many are unaware of why one ought to consume fiber in the diet.  Actually, do you know why you ought to consume fiber?  Fiber has been extensively followed and tracked in research and all the data suggest that the addition of fiber in the diet can be one the healthiest habits you practice.

Fiber is a large starchy compound found in fruits, vegetables, whole wheat grains, and legumes and is typically known for its “bulky” or “roughage” properties in the colon [1].  Fiber is a unique compound in that the human body is unable to process and absorb anything properties from fiber.  This means that any fruit, vegetable, grain, or legume (beans, lentils, etc.) you consume, it passes directly through you.  Fiber is commonly known to help prevent constipation and can add bulk to any meal you consume.  This article is your complete guide to fiber and listed are some health benefits from regular consumption of fiber.

The Complete Guide to Consuming Fiber

  • Fiber types. There are two primary types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber.  Insoluble fiber serves no huge purpose other than for elimination purposes.  On the other hand, soluble fiber is one of the healthiest forms of fiber one can consume.  Soluble is a word used to describe anything which can be mixed into a solution with water.  Soluble fiber is similar in that when introduced to water, it can mix and form a solid product often excreted from the body.  In the process of elimination however, the fibrous compound collects tiny particles known to block arteries and cause atherosclerosis, which means fiber can play a cleansing role.  An overwhelming amount of research has shown soluble fiber to be very beneficial for the reduction of heart disease risk.  A recent study indicated that a fiber intake of at least 20 grams per day, with plentiful soluble fiber, can help reduce the risk of heart disease better than a low fiber intake of about five grams per day [2], suggesting fiber intake to be a dose-response effect in heart health.
  • How Much Fiber is needed for Heart Health. There are varying ranges of recommended fiber intake depending on gender and age.  For men under the age of 50, it is recommended to consume at least 38 grams of fiber per day, whereas over the age of 50, a male need only to consume 30 grams daily.  Similarly, women under the age of 50 require at least 25 grams of fiber daily whereas women over 50 need at least 21 grams daily.  Finding ways to consume plentiful fiber throughout the day will help meet the daily needs to help keep the body efficient and body weight down.
  • Foods Containing High Amounts of Fiber. Fiber is derived from plant sources which means the only way to consume quality fiber is to consume fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes.  Some of the best sources of fiber however come from legumes and whole wheat grains, with some offering more than five grams per serving.  Fruit and vegetables are a good source of fiber, but typically do not offer as much as grains and legumes.
  • Fiber Intake and Weight Control. Some studies have discussed how most people generally consume the same mass of food each day [3].  One way it is described that consuming fiber helps with body weight management is through the fullness factor, or the way a particular food fills you following a feeding.  Fiber helps increase the fullness factor following a meal and when combined with water, this combination helps avoid overeating.  As a result of a high fullness factor of fiber, the body is able to sense that the typical weight of food has been consumed, but with fewer calories.  One healthy habit of individuals successful in weight loss includes consuming a high-fiber breakfast, which may include a high-fiber cereal or oats with some fruit.





About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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