Five Benefits of Fiber

Fiber is such an amazing nutrient with so many benefits. Fiber can help manage weight, improve heart health, improve intestinal health, regulate blood sugar, and decrease odds of getting cancer.

Weight Management  

By changing one thing to your diet, you can improve your ability to lose weight. Increase your fiber intake! One study found that participants who only added fiber to their diet, increasing to 30 grams of fiber a day, lost significant weight as a result. Foods that are high in fiber keep you satisfied longer, which helps control energy intake. In addition, fiber can also prevent the body from absorbing some of the calories in the foods that are consumed. Fiber can bind with fat and sugar molecules as they travel through the digestive tract. This, in turn, reduces the number of calories that are absorbed into the body.

 

 

 

Heart Disease 

Additionally, every 7 grams of fiber that is eaten daily, can consequently decrease the risk of heart disease by 9 percent. This is due to fiber’s ability to hold onto cholesterol from our body and carry it out before it reaches our arteries. Then, soluble fiber restricts the re-absorption of bile acids into the intestines. The fiber holds onto the bile acids (which contain cholesterol) before the body can reabsorb them. As a positive consequence of this process, cholesterol levels decrease.

 

 

 

Note that when adding fiber, it is advised to slowly increase the amount consumed.

 

 

Improve Intestinal Health

Fiber can help treat and prevent constipation. Higher fiber diets make the large intestines contract to move our food out of our bodies, which certainly helps with normal bowel movements.

 

 

 

Regulate Blood Sugar 

Fiber keeps blood sugar levels in our body steady and keeps us feeling full. This helps to also decrease the risk of getting or worsening diabetes. Consuming more dietary fiber can improve the body’s glycemic response and insulin sensitivity. Consuming at least 26 grams of fiber can result in a decreased chance of getting type 2 diabetes by 18 percent!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cancer 

Increase in fiber consumption can decrease the risk of colon and breast cancers. By increasing 13 grams of fiber from food sources, colon cancer can be reduced by 31%. Eating more fruits and vegetables that contain fiber also contain antioxidants and phytochemicals can further decrease the odds of getting cancer. 

 

Learn more about the benefits of fiber. Also, how to get more of it in a one-on-one session with a Registered Dietitian. Make an appointment today!  CLICK HERE

 

 

This article contains more information on the benefits of fiber from the American Heart Association. 

 

Here is a link to a list of high fiber foods from the Mayo Clinic. 

 

References 

Ma Y, Olendzki B, Wang J, Persuitte G.M., Li W, Fang H, et al.  Single-Component Versus Multicomponent Dietary Goals for the Metabolic Syndrome. A Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 2015; 162: 248-257. DOI: 10.7326/P15-9004 

Streppel M, Ocké M, Boshuizen H, Kok F, Kromhout D. Dietary fiber intake in relation to coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality over 40 y: the Zutphen Study.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2008;88(4): 1119–1125. ttps://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/88.4.1119

Kaczmarczyk M, Miller M, Freund G. The health benefits of dietary fiber: Beyond the usual suspects of type 2 diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. PlumX Metrics. 2012;61(8): 1058–1066. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.metabol.2012.01.017

Thalheimer J. A Soluble Fiber Primer — Plus the Top Five Foods That Can Lower LDL Cholesterol. Today’s Dietitian. 2013; 15(12) 16. http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/120913p16.shtml

Marlett J, McBurney M, Slavin J. Health Implications of Dietary Fiber. 2002; 102(7): 993–1000. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8223(02)90228-2

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