Home Lifestyle The Best High-Fiber Foods, According to a Nutritionist

The Best High-Fiber Foods, According to a Nutritionist

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It may be time to eat more vegetables, top your breakfast with berries, or dust your blender. Most Americans don’t get enough fiber. like, less than 5%.We are sorely lacking (and Expert Concerned). This is shocking, but not entirely surprising. After all, the standard American diet contains very little fiber. We’re obsessed with carbs and protein, but we’re ignoring the small but big impact of dietary fiber. Therefore, we are overeating and undernourished. Without further ado, let’s talk about what fiber is and the best high-fiber foods to help you feel full.

Featured image by Michelle Nash.

What is fiber?

Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate. It contains a wide range of plant-based substances (polysaccharides, pectins, guar gum, etc.) that the body cannot digest.but many Carbohydrates break down into sugar molecules, but dietary fiber is an outlier. Instead, fiber passes through the body undigested. It comes with the ride, which is a good thing. The fact that it is not digested is why it is so important. Fiber minimizes constipation, regulates hunger, regulates blood sugar levels, slows glucose absorption, and promotes heart health. The FDA has provided a helpful and easy-to-understand guide on dietary fiber. here.

Image by Michelle Nash

Soluble and insoluble dietary fiber

There are two types of dietary fiber. Both are essential, but each plays a different role in our health.

Soluble dietary fiber

Dietary fiber that dissolves in water. Soluble fiber comes from gum and pectin. When dissolved in water, it turns into a thick gelatinous gel. This gel helps lower cholesterol levels, especially LDL levels.Soluble dietary fiber is also effective Blood sugar drops. Found in chia seeds, beans, fruits, carrots, oats, etc.

insoluble dietary fiber

Dietary fiber that is insoluble in water. Insoluble fiber can help prevent constipation and improve mobility. Insoluble fiber is found in whole grains, cauliflower, almonds, and potatoes.

Image by Michelle Nash

fiber source

Fiber is mainly found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains and legumes. As a rule of thumb, natural foods rich in color are often high in fiber.another reason eat a rainbow

Both cooked and raw, produce is a great source of fiber. but, the study To maximize fiber retention, indicate that vegetables should be eaten as raw (or near-raw) as possible. Cooking vegetables by boiling or roasting can cut their fiber content in half. If you’re new to fiber, this will help. Ultimately, the most nutritional benefits come from eating mostly raw vegetables. (One apple a day…) Try and find what works best for your body.

best high fiber foods

Before we discuss the benefits of a high-fiber diet, let’s take a look at some of the most cost-effective high-fiber foods. For context, here’s a short list of foods that provide rich sources of fiber, along with their approximate fiber content.

  • 1 cup edamame: 18 grams
  • 1 cup of lentils: 16 grams
  • 1 cup of black beans: 15 grams
  • 1 cup of chickpeas: 12 grams
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds: 10 grams
  • 1 cup of raspberries: 8 grams
  • Half a cup of fresh pistachios: 7 grams
  • 1 persimmon: 6g
  • 1 cup of broccoli: 5 grams
  • Half a cup of avocado: 5 grams
Image by Michelle Nash

Why Americans Don’t Get Enough Fiber

When we talk about the pitfalls of American diets, we tend to focus on excessive amounts of processed sugar, table salt, and non-nutritive calories. So the talk about textiles is ignored. There are nuances to non-existence, but that’s largely due to what we’re exposed to.of The traditional American diet lacks fiber. Plus, what’s offered at gas stations and fast food restaurants doesn’t make it any easier. we, fiber gap.

Consider this list of low-fiber foods. How many of these options are associated with the standard American diet?

  • Refined carbohydrates (white flour pancakes, bagels, bread, pasta, white rice, etc.).
  • animal protein.
  • dairy products.
  • Low-fiber packaged goods such as cereals, crisps, crackers and granola bars.
  • Most desserts such as traditional cookies, donuts and cakes.
  • Soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages.

Centuries ago this was not the case. Humans have traditionally evolved to eat large amounts of fiber. Long before we learned to domesticate animals, we lived primarily on fibrous fruits, roots, shoots, nuts and seeds.

Image by Michelle Nash

How much fiber do you need each day?

It is debatable. However, as research progressed, Official recommendations (less than 30 grams per day) may be less than you actually need for optimal health.What we actually need is probably 50 grams/day (that’s all). Today, the average American consumes 10-15 grams of dietary fiber Per day — far from our goal. You can use these stats to add more fibers.

yes. Insufficient dietary fiber can cause many things besides constipation. In fact, it can lead to many unwanted diseases (even cancer). A lack of fiber can lead to an unhealthy digestive system, which can lead to short-term and long-term health complications.low fiber diet Linked It affects everything from colon cancer to unhealthy cholesterol levels to a suppressed immune system to obesity.

Image by Michelle Nash

How to eat more fiber slowly

you don’t have to do it perfectly Detox— Unless, of course, it’s about you! Instead, consider the concept of “crowding out”. The more fiber-rich foods you add to your plate, the more naturally processed, nutrient-poor foods you eliminate.

Take advantage of meal prep

Start meal prepping with more plant-based foods. Foods with fiber are much more likely to reach for when they’re ready (and look easy). Take a peek at these high-fiber recipes for inspiration.

start slowly

Instead of adding high-fiber foods all at once, add 1-2 servings daily to your regular diet. Do this for a week to let your body acclimate, then add another serving the following week. This is like adding a salad next to your main course or choosing whole grains like barley, oatmeal, or brown rice. All of these alternatives are great sources of fiber and require little change in your habits.

Consider Simple Exchange

For example, a regular bowl of cereal for high-fiber cereal, white pasta for 100% whole wheat pasta, berries instead of bananas, and high-fiber protein bars instead of your usual foods. , choose foods rich in fiber. and-go snacks.

be creative

Eating is fun! Enjoy a different weekend breakfast like this beautiful (and functional) breakfast board. Or try one of our cozy favorite soups. You don’t need to grind wheat bran to get more fiber.

Image by Michelle Nash

Benefits of high fiber foods

Those are 10 cents. Higher fiber intake improves digestion, maintains gut health (reduces risk of hemorrhoids, for example), lowers cholesterol levels, and improves overall health. It lowers blood sugar, helps you reach a healthy weight, and promotes longevity.

  • Helps control blood sugar levels. For people with diabetes, fiber, especially soluble fiber, slows the absorption of sugars and helps improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet containing insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  • Helps you achieve a healthy weight. High-fiber foods tend to make you feel fuller than low-fiber foods, so you’re more likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer. Also, foods high in fiber take longer to eat and tend to have a lower “energy density.” This means fewer calories for the same amount of food.
  • Helps you live longer. Studies suggest that increased intake of dietary fiber, especially cereal fiber, is associated with a lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and all cancers.

Alleviation of chronic constipation

According to this article, prioritizing high-fiber foods in the diet was significantly more effective than placebo in resolving chronic constipation. In other words, fibers keep everything moving. And who wouldn’t want to be a regular? Fiber softens stools and makes them easier to pass.

gut health

Trillions of bacteria live in and around the human digestive tract. They need fiber! Bacteria feed on it. When fiber is depleted, certain intestinal bacteria start to work on the colon’s protective mucous membranes, which is not good.Dietary fiber is basically preserved pro-inflammatory cells and improve overall gut health.

disease prevention

Studies have found that a high-fiber diet is likely to reduce the risk of disease. colorectal cancer. Not only does fiber help prevent other diseases, it’s also important for heart health. Soluble fiber may help lower levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol. the study It also shows that high-fiber foods may have other benefits for heart health, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.

healthier weight

Fiber promotes satiety more effectively than low-fiber or processed foods.In turn, it appears as research Support weight loss. This is a win-win, as increasing your fiber intake naturally encourages you to switch unhealthy foods to natural, plant-based alternatives. Weight loss is not the primary goal of a high-fiber diet, but most people end up with small (or moderate) weight loss after increasing their fiber intake.

improve insulin sensitivity

Fiber has been linked to heart disease prevention and helps prevent insulin resistance. It is estimated that 88% of Americans do. metabolically unhealthy. Fibers can significantly reverse these stats. Dietary fiber has been proven time and time again to be effective. keep blood sugar low all day long. Essentially, fiber “waters down” sugars so they take longer to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

This post was originally published on April 25, 2022 and has since been updated.

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