Dietary fiber is a non-digestible carbohydrate that originates from plant-based foods.
Many carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules, while fiber is not. Instead, it passes through the body undigested.
Dietary fiber is essential for homeostasis within the gut.
The predominant health benefits extend to enhanced metabolic welfare, including protection against obesity and related metabolic diseases.
Diets have changed radically over the past few decades, with people consuming more ultra-processed foods void of dietary fiber. This lack of focus on the foods we eat has led to deficiencies in dietary fiber.
Women's recommended daily fiber intake is 25 grams, while men should aim for 38 grams. Still, most Americans consume less than half of those recommended minimum levels, which is comparable worldwide.
Because fiber helps regulate the body's use of sugars, helping keep hunger and blood sugar in check, and helping feed the good bacteria responsible for multiple health benefits, it is essential for optimal healthiness and longevity.
People with high intakes of dietary fiber appear to have an exceptionally lower risk for developing:
We can get good sources of dietary fiber from the food we already eat, and we need to eat more of it.
The best sources of fiber are nuts, fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
And because high-fiber foods are filling, they may help maintain weight and even aid weight loss. They are also generally a good source of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients.
There are two varieties of fiber:
Substitute white grain rice, bread, and pasta with brown and whole-grain alternatives.
For breakfast, swap ultra-processed cereals for natural foods like chia and almond pudding, eggs on whole-grain toast or oatmeal with fruit.
Snack on fresh and dried fruit and raw vegetables instead of chips or chocolate.
Explore vegetarian meals rich in beans or legumes once or twice per week.
When shopping, challenge yourself to avoid the inner isle; getting most of your produce from the outer shelves of the supermarket (fresh fruit and vegetables, and frozen fruit and vegetables and other good foods).
Try these tips out today and let us know in the comments if you feel a difference in your health!