Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that comes from plants.
Dietary fiber is not digestible and is also not absorbed in the bloodstream
It is commonly called roughage, and contains lignin.
The word “fiber” comes from the Latin word ‘fibra’, which means thread.
It is excellent for absorbing water and easing up the bowel movement.
Dietary fiber is made up of polysaccharides which are non-starch like cellulose, chitins, inulin, pectins, waxes, beta-glucans and oligosaccharides.
What are the types of fiber and why is it important in diet?
According to Medical news, you will get mainly two types of dietary fiber- soluble and insoluble, though none of these can be digested by the body.
Soluble fiber easily dissolves in water and changes as it passes through digestive tract as the bacteria ferments it. Once fermented it becomes viscous and thick. In case of the insoluble fiber, it moves down the digestive tract with being changed.
The dietary fiber is found in plants and we do not get them from animals. Though the fiber is indigestible, it aims to make things smooth in the intestine and stomach, which include a painless bowel movement.
Additionally, insoluble fibers increase and soften stool, thus relieving constipation and putting a check to hemorrhoids and diverticular disease.
Dietary fiber is the non-digestible plant food which is mainly lignin and carbohydrate. There might be added fiber, which is added to food when it is processed and total fiber is both the added fiber and the dietary fiber together.
What are the benefits of including fiber in your regular diet?
The major benefits of including fiber in your diet are improved bowel movement, lowered levels of cholesterol, normal blood sugar levels and better weight management.
If you are looking forward to lose some weight, include adequate amounts of fiber in your diet. These will keep you fuller for a longer time and thus control your hunger pangs. The workout plan finder will help you with your exercise regimen to get into shape faster.
According to Wheat Foods, regular intake of dietary fiber has health benefits. It reduces the chance of certain life threatening diseases like colon cancer, breast cancer and heart disease by reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol.
Some of the most dependable sources of fiber include oatmeal, bran, dried beans, legumes, barley and fruits. Insoluble fiber sources are whole grains and cereals, vegetable skins, fruits and wheat bran.
According to the Institute of Medicine, fibers inhibit the absorption of cholesterol, regulate and slow down the abruption of sugar thus controlling blood sugar. If you are cutting down on calories, include fiber rich foods in your daily diet, as they are lower in fat.
The phytochemicals contained in fibers have cancer fighting properties. Additionally, fiber rich food also contain increased amount of minerals and vitamins needed by the body.
Fiber also prevents diarrhea and constipation by improving bowel functions. Concentrated fiber supplements often prove helpful if you are missing it in your daily diet.
What are the side effects of including too much fiber in the daily diet?
Gradual increased intake is essential. A sudden increase in the amount of dietary fiber will cause stomach cramps, bloating and increased production of intestinal gas.
It is crucial that you take adequate amounts of fluid with the fiber.
In case you are suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), it is best to consult your doctor before including large amounts of fiber in your diet. Cases of intolerance have been reported in individuals with IBS.
Some people may have allergies to certain high fiber foods. In such cases, getting the daily requirement might pose to be a challenge. It is important to find out what you are allergic to and then plan your fiber intake accordingly.
How much fiber should I include in my normal diet?
According to the National Health Service, the daily recommended dose for healthy adults is 20-35 grams. A balanced diet is capable of meeting this requirement.
You might be able to tolerate more. However, it is advised not to increase the recommended dosage suddenly as you might experience bloating, wind and cramps. You can try increasing your intake by five grams for a period of four to five days and take plenty of extra fluid during this time.