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We seem to hear a lot from doctors, TV commercials, and many other sources that we need to make sure we get enough fiber. What exactly is fiber and what does it do? Today I want to explain how it works throughout your body and aids in a healthy digestive system.
There are actually two types of fiber-soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibers help with the overall health of your digestive system. They do not dissolve in water, so they move through your gastrointestinal tract and help to speed up the passage of food and waste through your system. Insoluble fibers are mainly found in whole grains and vegetables. Soluble fiber attracts water and forms into a gel like substance; this helps to slow down digestion and delays the emptying of your stomach, making you feel full. Also, soluble fiber entraps sugars, cholesterol, and fat, which slow their absorption into the body. This can help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and help regulate insulin sensitivities. Soluble fiber can be found in oatmeal, oat cereals, lentils, apples, oranges, pears, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, beans, and a few other foods.
There are many benefits of a high-fiber diet which include the following. They help maintain healthy bowel movements, lower cholesterol levels, help control blood sugar levels, and aid in achieving healthy weight. On average, men under the age of 50 need 38 grams and women need 25 grams. Men over the age of 50 need 30 grams and women need 21 grams.
I hope this information can help you assess your fiber needs. This is an aspect of my diet that I have to actively work on. Please come into Live Fit if you have any additional questions for any of our personal trainers!
“Nutrition and Healthy Eating.” Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2015.