What are the Benefits of Fiber?
There’s that “F” word again. For years, fiber has been a hot topic when discussing healthy eating. The benefits of a high fiber diet are endless but the reality is that most Americans do not get the recommended grams of fiber every day. Take a look at your diet. Are you among the many Americans that need to increase their fiber intake? Here are some tips for making that happen!
How much fiber should I be eating every day?
The Food and Drug Administraition (FDA) recommends 25 grams of fiber each day, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Some people may need to consume more or less than 2,000 calories which means their fiber intake would also change. That 25 grams of fiber is a great goal, though and can be easy to meet if you are choosing the right foods at the grocery store, at restaurants and during snacks. Another important aspect of a high fiber diet is the need for sufficient water intake. Too much fiber with too little water leads to constipation and other digestive issues. Be sure that when meeting your fiber needs you are also drinking the recommended eight ounces of water, eight times a day.
What are the benefits of fiber?
Fiber is important to our body as it helps keep our digestive tract in order. Think about the way your toothbrush cleans your teeth. Fiber does the same for our insides, keeping things healthy and moving right along. It also is slower to digest than other foods such as simple sugars. That means that we feel satisfied after eating for a longer period of time than we would without fiber. When fiber is eaten as part of a complete meal, it can slow the digestion of the other elements, leading to a slower release of sugar into the bloodstream which is great for people with diabetes.
Where does fiber come from?
Fiber is found in many of our food groups. The best sources of fiber are from fruits and vegetables. There are a few hints for making sure you are getting the most from the fiber in your fruits and vegetables:
Eat the peel
Many fruits and vegetables hold most of their fiber content in their outer peel. Think apples, pears, and potatoes. Leaving the skin on when consuming will help you feel full faster and for a longer period of time.
Have a salad
Eating a salad with your meal is a great way to meet your daily fiber needs. Two cups of spinach contain 1.4 grams of fiber. Sprinkle on a few more vegetables and you are well on your way to meeting the requirements.
Another great way to meet your fiber needs is from the grains group. Choosing bread, tortillas, crackers, and pasta that contain whole grain wheat flour as their first ingredient will pack more of a fiber punch than the standard white bread.
Take a peek at your daily diet. Do you think you are doing your best to meet your fiber needs?
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