Medical research over the years has revealed that a high fiber diet provides many health benefits. But unfortunately, as per the Columbia University Institute of Human Nutrition, the average American consumes less than fifty percent of the required dietary fibers.
“Of late, the many benefits of dietary fiber has come to fore,” says Debra J. Johnston, RD, director of nutrition services at Remuda Ranch, a treatment program for eating disorders in Wickenburg, Arizona.
“Dietary fiber is part of the structural component of the plants. Human body is incapable of digesting it. It doesn’t provide the body with energy but greatly helps in digestion and prevention of diseases,” says Lanah J. Brennan, RD, a dietitian in Lafayette, La.
The dietary fiber has a couple of divisions – soluble and insoluble fibers. Mixture of these two can be found in most of the foods that contain fiber.
“The soluble fibers when come in contact with liquid, makes the process of digestion in the body sluggish. On the other hand, the insoluble fiber moves inside the intestinal tract, which aids the bowl movements,” Brennan elaborates.
Fruits and vegetables as a whole are good source of soluble fiber, while their skins contain insoluble fibers. Whole grains and seeds are also good source of soluble fiber.
Advantages of a High Fiber Diet
“Fiber also maintains the blood sugar level, fights obesity, lowers cholesterol and even decreases the risk of some cancers,” Brennan reveals.
Following are the advantages of having a high fiber diet:
Cholesterol: The soluble fiber forms chemical bondage with fatty acid to lower cholesterol level in the body.
Heart: Apart from reducing cholesterol, fiber also lowers the blood pressure, thereby reducing the chances of any cardiac problem.
Diabetes: A high fiber diet wanes the absorption of sugar. Due to this, there is lesser chance of occurrence of type 2 diabetes.
Obesity: A high fiber diet creates fullness in stomach, lowers absorption of sugar by the body and decelerates the process of digestion. A combination of all these helps to fight obesity.
Colon cancer: A high fiber diet helps the body to purge the toxin formed in the colon. Hence, it also prevents the occurrence of colon cancer.
Constipation: High fiber diets are excellent laxatives.
Foods that contain high fiber
“Everyone should take around 20 to 30 grams of fiber in a day,” advises Johnston. Look at the food labels carefully when you shop for your meals.
Studies point that most Americans do not have the proper knowledge about high fiber-rich foods. Vegetables and fruits that burn belly fat are excellent sources of fiber. You can also get it from seeds, nuts, bran, oats and barley. The following food items also contain high amount of fiber.
Avocados: Avocado is the fruit that has the most fiber. It is also one of our recommended fat burning fruits.
Legumes: Legumes like lentils and peas contain high amount of fiber.
Noodles: Since noodles are prepared from grains, they are good source of fiber. Whole-wheat grain is the best in this regard.
Popcorn: Having popcorn for breakfast is a smart way to get your share of high fiber.
Berries: Berries, whether fresh or canned are good source of fiber.
All about the High Fiber Diet
When diet plans first came into being made, before any low calorie or Atkins diet, High Fiber Diet was the one that was made the trend in 1980’s. People who wanted to loose weight ate whole meal bread, bran cereals and jacket spuds then. Professionals have made researches on this as well and have concluded that it is a healthy to be and loose weight at the same time diet. Dietary fiber is to be eaten in this diet plan.
Audrey Eyton’s F-plan diet became popular and was used by almost everyone who aimed to loose weight. He recommended high fiber and low calorie food. His plan was so successful that experts still recommend following it.
Before I enter the details of a fiber rich diet plan I should start from the very basis. The first thing to mention is what you are asked to eat. Dietary fiber is also known as roughage. It is that part of food which cannot be digested by the human digestive system. It is necessary for the body because it pushes the stool down the human alimentary canals and large intestines. Lack of fiber thus causes constipation. Dietary fiber is found in plant cell walls, in vegetables, fruits, cereals and pulses; mainly plant food.
High Fiber Diet follows with low calorie food as well to loose weight as quick as possible. I have points to support weight loss through High Fiber diet. Firstly it is very important and convincing for you to know that fiber contains no calories. This makes it though less energetic but is best for people demanding weight loss. My second statement of support is that chewing fiber generally takes more time the normal.
The more you chew and more time you eat, psychologically more satisfied you are. In this case, you eat less in the same time duration and feel satisfied. Not only this, but when fiber food eaten, it absorbs water and by the time it reaches your stomach, it swells. This makes you feel stomach-full sooner. Moreover fibers as I told you before, are not digested by our system, they stay in our stomach for a longer time then any other carbohydrate. These factors help avoid overeating.
Every nutrient is necessary for the human body, no matter if more or less in quantity, but should be taken. Dietary fiber though cannot be digested but is recommended by experts that adults should take 18g of it per day. The normal range is 12-24g a day. For the purpose of loosing weight you will not only have to concentrate on fiber intake but also have to avoid high calorie food. Your weight loss will depend on how well you have been able to avoid fats and calories. During the first weeks you may loose rapidly than 21lbs per week.
If you do not like having wheat you can opt for pulses, fruits and vegetables instead. All you have to do is gain average 18g fiber content a day. Concerning children intake of fiber, very young children must not be overdosed with fibrous food. This is because their small stomachs cannot withstand too much of fiber and generally they need lesser food than matures. Young children need energy food instead for a healthy growth (fibrous food reveals less energy as explained before). They need a little amount of fiber just to keep a smooth flow of stool.
High Fiber Diet is beneficial for health. It prevents problems like constipation you have been already told how, piles, diverticular disease and bowel cancer. Fiber rich foods do not consist of roughage but also are a source of minerals and vitamins. Wheat barley, rye, oats and rice are such examples containing in them zinc, antioxidant nutrients vitamin E, selenium and phytochemicals. These have nutrients that help prevent heart disease, stroke and almost 30% of diabetes!
It is believed that soluble fiber is what prevents hear disease and strokes. It is found in wholegrain cereals and controls cholesterol level. Soluble fiber is a type of dietary fiber that makes a shell to cholesterol and avoids it from being absorbed into the blood. This is why wholegrain cereals tend to control cholesterol level and therefore prevent heart diseases. Another characteristic of soluble fiber is that it forms a gel in the intestine, which slows down the digestion of glucose on a large part. This can reduce blood sugar level and may cause hunger. Fruits, vegetables, oats, barley, beans, peas and lentils consist of high soluble fiber content.
Where there are soluble fibers there are also insoluble fibers. These play a role in softening the stool and adding bulk to it. This gives a smooth flow to the stool through the alimentary canals. This is what helps put a stop to constipation, piles and other bowel problems. Whole meal flour, bran bread, whole meal cereals, grains, whole meal pasta and selected vegetables and fruits are a good source of insoluble fiber.
It is good to have a wide range of fibrous food rather than selecting one or two for yourself. This will help gain both types of fibers and their relative benefits.
For people who are diabetic they should always their doctor before bringing about changes in their diet. But High Fiber Diet is recommended and allowed by most doctors to diabetics as well.
I hope you are aware of the GI value diet i.e. Glycaemic index diet plan. In short, it is a scale of 100 divisions that tells you the effect a food would have on your blood sugar level. A low GI value food is to be eaten. A fiber meal slows down carbohydrate absorption and so it has a low GI value. Here I have finally satisfied you with the relevancy of eating fibrous food to reduce weight.
The problems associated with this thoroughly explained diet are not that serious. They may become serious if you are careless. But if you care they can be easily avoided. A sudden increase in fiber food can make gases like hydrogen, carbon dioxide and methane in the intestines. This is because of a sudden rise only. Your system will soon be used to it and the problem may exit. A better approach to avoid the discomfort is to gradually raise the fiber level of your food.
Another problem may arise if you totally concentrate on fiber. Fiber absorbs water and neglecting fluids meanwhile can cause constipation. So carry on with your fluid intake to avoid dryness in the system and to therefore avoid constipation. Wasn’t I right? It’s not at all difficult and serious. Care for your health and follow the guidelines. You can loose weight through a High Fiber Diet! What else do you aim for?
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