Fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate that fills you up, is very low in calories and is quite unique when compared with other carbohydrates.
There are two types of fiber: soluble fiber that soaks up water as it goes through the body and builds form to stool and insoluble fiber that rushes through the system. Both types aid in healthy digestion and weight loss: every 14 grams of fiber added to your diet trims your calories by 10%. So try to have 40 grams per day to feel full longer and to snack less.
There are many sources of fiber, but a good tip to increase your intake is to eat all your foods brown instead of white.
BROWN RICE – Brown rice is high in fiber, extremely low in sodium and is composed of 80% complex carbohydrates. Because brown rice is a whole food, it takes longer to digest than white rice, providing the body with sustained energy throughout the day.
BROWN BREAD – To prepare white flour, the outer part of the grain (the bran), where all the nutrients of the wheat are found, is removed. It is the bran that is rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals. In whole grain bread, the bran is ground to make the flour, thus maintaining its nutrients.
GRAINS – Grains, oats and legumes all have fiber but not all of them are high fiber foods. Oatmeal and barley are what stand out in this category.
All fruits and vegetables contain fiber, in different amounts: berries, apples, oranges, avocados, bananas, spinach and greens are those with the higher fiber content.
Here are some benefits of including high fiber foods in your diet:
Promotes healthy gut function
Moderates swing of blood sugar levels
Absorbs and then eliminates bacterial toxins in the intestine
Supports immune system by crowding out harmful bacteria in the colon and bulking up the stool
Keeps you fuller longer (slows down transit time in the stomach)
Reduces risk of colon cancer
Remember, aim for your 40 grams of fiber per day and see how your digestion improves and how much lighter you feel.
If your goal is to reduce weight, you can use fiber to work for you. If you now get about 12 grams of fiber per day and eat around 2,000 calories, with 26 grams of fiber you will feel full at 1,800 calories and with 40 grams of fiber you´ll feel full at 1,620 calories.
Do your math and try it!
Certified Health Coach, Institute for Integrative Nutrition