All of us health and fitness enthusiasts seem to be working on getting the right amount of fiber into our system but have we ever wondered what exactly fiber is and if too much of it can cause negative effects? Read on to know everything you need to know about fiber.
What Is Dietary Fiber?
Dietary fiber, surprisingly, is a type of carbohydrate that remains after our bodies absorb whatever else it has to. It is the indigestible part of our foods and is derived only from plants. One of the things that people tend to overlook is that all meat and dairy products have zero fiber content which is why it is always recommended to pair meat with some veggies on the side.
Why Do We Need It?
Fiber is essential in our body as it helps regulate our body’s sugar usage, keeps the bowel movements smooth and helps us feel full so that we don’t end up eating more than we should.There are two types of fiber, both of which are beneficial for our health – one type that is soluble in water and one that isn’t. The soluble fiber ferments in the colon and helps lower blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Insoluble fiber absorbs water as it moves along and ensures the smooth movement of waste through our system. Apart from these awesome benefits a study authored by James M. Lattimer and Mark D. Haub states “Epidemiological and clinical studies demonstrate that intake of dietary fiber and whole grain is inversely related to obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD).”
How Much Is The Right Amount?
According to an article published by Harvard T.H. Chan School Of Public Health, “Children
What Are The Foods Rich In Fiber?
Wheat Bran contains about 25 g of fiber for every 58 g (one cup) and is one of the best sources of fiber.
Beans are a great source of fiber and the fiber content can vary depending on the type of bean. Chickpeas, Kidney beans, and pinto beans are some of many varieties that you can try that contain around 16 g of fiber for every 100 g.
Oat Bran contains about 14 g of fiber for every 94 g (one cup).
Popcorn contains about 13 g of dietary fiber for every 100 g.
Oat cereal contains about 11 grams of dietary fiber for every 100 g.
An ounce of chia seeds (28 g) contains about 10 g of dietary fiber.
Nuts – Almonds are a rich source of fiber as they contain about
A tablespoon of ground flax seeds contain about 1.9 g of dietary fiber for every 7 g.
A cup of sliced avocado (146 g) contains 10 g of dietary fiber.
Lentils boiled contains about 8 g of dietary fiber for every 8 g.
A medium sized apple has about 4.4 g of dietary fiber for every 182 g.
About 10 raspberries (19 g) contain about 1.2 g of dietary fiber.
50 blueberries (64 g ) contains about 1.2 g of fiber.
Brown rice cooked can have between 1.8 g of dietary fiber for every 100 g.
Most veggies are a great source of fiber among which a cup of chopped broccoli contains about 2.4 g of fiber for every 91 g or a cup of Brussels sprouts contains about 3.3 g of dietary fiber in every 88 g.
Can Too Much Fiber Be Bad?
Yes! If you consume too much fiber and if the consumption is sudden, it can cause negative effects on your body like bloating, cramping, diarrhea, constipation, pain, and mineral deficiencies. Fiber tends to ferment in the colon causing the production of gasses so if you end up eating too much of it too quickly, it could leave you feeling extremely gassy through the day. You may face constipation if you intake too much soluble fiber as it absorbs water in the gastrointestinal tract causing the stool to become bulky and hard and even painful. Intake of too much insoluble fiber on the other hand causes the stool to pass through your system too quickly resulting in diarrhea. Excess fiber may also bind itself to nutrients before it is absorbed by the body causing a deficiency of minerals in the system.
What Should You Do?
If you have found that you have a low fiber intake and want to