Advantages and disadvantages of a high-fiber diet

There are many benefits of getting more fiber through our diet. Adequate fiber ensures regular bowel movements, can aid in weight loss and is heart-healthy. (2, 3)

However, most people do not get the recommended daily allowance for fiber from their diet.

With a high-fiber diet, fiber intake should at least meet or exceed the recommended daily allowance. Adult women should aim for 22-28 grams of fiber per day and men should aim for around 28-34 grams per day. (1)

Although fiber is carbohydrate, it is not easily digested. This means they can increase feelings of fullness after a meal without spiking blood sugar or providing too many extra calories. Also, foods high in fiber often take longer to chew, which is another factor that can increase feelings of fullness.

1 high-fiber foods

Fiber is only found in plants. Therefore, you should include plenty of plant-based foods in your balanced diet.(4) The three main types of fiber are:

1.1 Insoluble dietary fiber

This fiber comes from the walls of plant cells and does not dissolve in water. They also don’t ferment in the colon like soluble fiber does. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, the skin of fruits that grow on trees, and many green vegetables. This type of fiber helps with digestive health and regular bowel movements.

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1.2 Soluble fiber

This fiber is found in most plants, but especially in legumes and beans, root vegetables, many fruits, and some grains such as oats and barley. “Good” bacteria in the colon use this type of fiber as a food source, and it may help control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.(5)

1.3 Prebiotic Dietary Fiber

This is a type of soluble fiber (called inulin or fructan) found in asparagus, onions, garlic, leeks, bananas and some root vegetables, as well as certain grains.

2 benefits of a high-fiber diet

2.1 Regular bowel movements

Fiber helps the colon do its job of producing stool that is bulky but soft enough to pass comfortably.(6)

2.2 Helpful in Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Fiber may be helpful for people with certain medical conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome. A 2017 study shows that people with irritable bowel syndrome can benefit from soluble and prebiotic fiber when introduced slowly into the diet. (7) Additionally, research suggests that increasing fiber consumption may help people with Crohn’s disease manage their symptoms. (8th)

2.3 Weight Loss

Fiber helps with weight loss because it’s filling while being low in calories. And when you eat more high-fiber foods, you have less space in your diet for foods that are less nutrient-dense, such as: B. Refined carbohydrates. High-fiber foods can also be a good source of lean protein.

2.4 Heart Health

Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and may promote weight loss. All of these are risk factors for heart disease.

2.5 Diabetes

A high-fiber diet can also lower blood sugar levels, which is important for people with diabetes. Research shows that a high-fiber diet can both prevent the development of type 2 diabetes and help treat it.(5)

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2.6 Sustainable

A high-fiber diet is safe and healthy and can be continued over the long term.

3 disadvantages of a high-fiber diet

3.1 Bloating in the intestines

High-fiber foods, especially beans, can cause or worsen gas and bloating. It might be embarrassing, but it’s harmless and a sign that the good bacteria in your gut are doing their job. Prebiotic fiber can help make gas less smelly.

3.2 abdominal bloating

Both abdominal gas and bloating are a result of consuming too much fiber too quickly. So if you want to add more fiber to your diet, do it gradually. Add the fiber gradually so your digestive system can process it.

3.3 Intestinal Disorders

Consuming more fiber than your body can handle can cause bloating, abdominal pain, loose stools or diarrhea, and even constipation. (9)

While these symptoms are usually mild, some people may experience more intestinal discomfort than others.

Learning curve: Most people don’t get enough fiber, which means some people may find handling high-fiber foods unfamiliar territory and take some time to learn.

4 You should know that

You can add fiber to any meal or snack to increase your total daily intake. If you’re not currently eating a lot of fiber, add it to your diet slowly so it’s well tolerated and your digestive system can tolerate it.

Don’t worry too much about the different types of fiber (soluble, insoluble, and prebiotic). As long as you eat a high-fiber diet overall, you can reap the benefits.

It’s best to get all or most of your fiber from nutrient-dense foods rather than supplements. Products advertised as “fiber-enriched” may also contain added sugars and other artificial ingredients, so be sure to check nutrition labeling carefully.

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Fiber may be helpful for people with certain digestive issues. Talk to your doctor to determine how much fiber you should be getting and if fiber supplements are helpful.

5 high-fiber foods

What you should eat:

  • Whole fruit
  • berries, such as blackberries and raspberries
  • vegetables
  • Whole grain cereals, such as oatmeal
  • legumes
  • nuts and seeds

What you should rather avoid:

  • Clear fruit juices
  • Refined Flours

Also interesting: The 30 best high-fiber foods and recipes

Clear fruit juices, such as grape juice and apple juice, contain very little fiber. It’s better to eat the whole fruit with the skin on than to juice it. Orange juice with pulp contains fiber, and prune juice is also a very good source of fiber.

health is delicious

Integrating healthy foods into your diet is often easier than you think. Combinations of healthy and nutritious foods enliven everyday life, provide more energy and pleasure when eating. Because food should not only be healthy, but taste good, give you strength and make you happy.

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