An eating plan high in fiber can go a long way in preventing disease, promoting weight loss and improving health. Many people assume fiber is nothing more than a fix for relieving constipation. However, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer and other conditions.
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. When soluble fiber dissolves into water, it forms a gel-like substance that lowers cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is also responsible for lowering the absorption of sugar, which benefits diabetics by keeping blood sugars level. Soluble fiber is found in apples, oats, oatmeal, peas, beans, citrus fruits and other foods.
Insoluble fiber promotes better digestion, helps alleviate constipation and assists in regulating bowl movements. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts and other vegetables are rich in insoluble fiber. High-fiber diets assist in weight loss because the foods take longer to chew, which gives the body more time to realize that itís full. This prevents overeating. High-fiber foods also encourage satiety and reduced hunger. The recommended daily allotment of fiber is 20 to 35 grams.
High-fiber foods include: beans, bran cereals, peas, oat bran, peanuts, raspberries, wheat bran, whole grain bread and whole-wheat pasta. By following the nutrition labels on foods or consulting charts that disclose fiber counts, it is easy to stick to a high-fiber diet. For example, ĺ cup Fiber One has 12 grams of fiber, while 1/3 cup of cooked garbanzo beans has 10 grams of fiber. In addition to filling up on high-fiber foods, eliminate processed foods such as pasta, bread and rice.
Experts also recommend drinking 64 fluid ounces of liquid a day, preferably water.