There are many distinct advantages to maintaining or starting a high fiber diet. Even if you consider yourself to be a healthy person, this type of diet can be beneficial. Not only does it aid in healthy bowel movements but research has shown that it also lowers cholesterol. There are even types of fiber that will help reduce the risk of colon cancer.
When we eat foods such as fruit, vegetables, bran muffins and cereal, we are taking fiber into the body. Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that is not digested. It also cannot be absorbed into our blood. The fiber in our food comes from plants. There are two different types, insoluble and soluble fiber.
Soluble fiber, as its names suggests, is fiber that dissolves in water. Soluble fiber is the type that is thought to lower cholesterol. We can obtain soluble fiber by eating oatmeal, barley, citrus fruits and dried beans. Having a high fiber diet that contains soluble fiber is thought to help with weight loss. This is because after eating foods containing this type of fiber you will be left feeling full for a greater length of time.
Insoluble fiber includes the skins of vegetables and also wheat bran. It is more commonly known as roughage. The advantage of including roughage into a high fiber diet is that it helps in preventing colon cancer. Insoluble fiber has also shown great benefits in helping to prevent diverticulosis.
Recent medical studies have shown that a high fiber diet can also be particularly advantageous to sufferers of diabetes. Diabetics who include at least 50 grams of fiber in their diet have lowered their glucose levels by at least 10%. Diabetics who added this much fiber have also shown a marked decrease in the insulin levels in their blood.
A high fiber diet has also been shown as beneficial to sufferers of heartburn. One in five Americans suffer from heartburn and it can sometimes lead to ulcers and in extreme cases, cancer of the esophagus. Health experts now advise a high fiber, low fat diet to help prevent heartburn.
Although a high fiber diet can help prevent many complaints, such as irritable bowel syndrome, too much fiber is as bad as too little. It is recommended that you stick to 20 to 35 grams per day. Including too much fiber into your diet may result in diarrhea and bloating. Sticking to the recommended amount should help stop these problems.