A Answers (8)
Michael Roizen, MD, Internal Medicine, answeredRegularly loading up on waist-friendly, high-fiber foods helps you live longer. That's because they slash your chances of dying of heart disease and infectious and respiratory diseases by up to 60% and of any disease by about 20%. Fiber also protects against some cancers (by binding to troublemakers and increasing the chances they'll be excreted) and diabetes (by slowing the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream). All that and it makes you regular, too. (Don't underestimate that.)
Rovenia Brock, PhD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answeredFiber is the part of fruits, vegetables, and legumes (beans and peas) that you can't digest, and it is an absolutely crucial part of the diet. Which may sound totally illogical, but isn't. So how could something you can't digest be so important? There are two types of fiber: insoluble fiber, the kind found in whole-grain products and many fruits and vegetables, which passes through the intestines without being broken down and cleans them out along the way, and soluble fiber, the soft, sticky type found in oats, dried peas, and beans, and the skins of apples, which lowers blood cholesterol levels by binding to fatty substances and moving them out of your body.
Fiber offers a lot of benefits to your gastrointestinal tract. If you start eating more fruits, vegetables, and legumes, you can throw away those laxatives you've been taking, because you won't have constipation anymore. And you'll also be helping to prevent conditions such as diverticulosis, diverticulitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
For those of you who want to lose weight, fiber is a great appetite suppressant because it fills you up faster and keeps you feeling full longer, thanks both to its bulk and to the fact that it delays the absorption of food. The fact that it slows the absorption of food also means that it makes your blood sugar and insulin levels more stable, which can help to prevent or alleviate type 2 diabetes. When you think about all those benefits and add to them fiber's ability to lower cholesterol, which helps lower heart disease risk, you can see why I think fiber deserves a lot more good press.
Rose Reisman, Nutrition & Dietetics, answeredFiber is found in plant-based foods. Fiber helps you eat less by making you feel fuller sooner. The high fiber in complex carbohydrates can lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent constipation, reduce the risk of colon cancer and help control type 2 diabetes. It also helps in weight loss. I consider fiber a miracle food essential to any diet. It's the main reason you shouldn't eliminate complex carbohydrates.
There are two kinds of fiber. Soluble fiber -- found in oats, barley, vegetables, fruit, brown rice and oat bran -- decreases blood cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease. Insoluble fiber -- found in wheat and corn bran, and fruits and vegetables -- helps maintain bowel regularity and reduces the risk of colon cancer. Complex carbohydrates with high fiber -- such as sweet potatoes, whole grain bread and oatmeal -- are some of the best slow-burning energy foods you can eat. When you eat these types of foods, your energy lasts longer.
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It's not the sexiest subject in the world, but ingesting additional fiber does more than make you regular. Fiber can work as an excellent weight-loss agent and may even help you lengthen your life.
Fiber is the nondigestible form of carbohydrates found in many foods, especially fruits and vegetables. While fiber contains no calories, it nevertheless serves many functions in the body, especially in improving digestion and absorption of nutrients. Eating a healthy diet rich in fiber helps you reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and constipation and other digestive-tract disorders. It's also been shown to increase longevity.
Fiber is incredibly beneficial in promoting health and weight management. Here's how:
- Foods that are high in fiber are more voluminous, meaning that they take up more room in your digestive system, making you feel more full per calorie.
- High-fiber foods take longer to digest, so it takes your body longer to register a feeling of hunger after eating. Fiber helps to prevent other calories that you consume from entering your body. You can think of fiber working almost like a net.
- Fiber helps prevent body-fat storage. When you slow digestion, particularly of carbohydrates, the body is able to metabolize them more efficiently. Soluble fiber helps carbohydrates to be used for glycogen synthesis and energy production, rather than to be stored as body fat. The slow delivery of carbs into your bloodstream keeps insulin levels from spiking too high, which is another way that fiber helps prevent body-fat storage.
- Fiber improves colon function. Insoluble fiber passes through your body without being digested by you or the bacteria that live in your digestive system. It helps increase bulk and the water content of waste, and this is beneficial because the additional water enhances motility (which helps to make you more "regular"), and it also helps to dilute carcinogens.
- Fiber can help reduce cholesterol and triglycerides. It can trap bile acids that might otherwise be absorbed and converted into cholesterol in the body. Reducing hydrogenated and trans fat is another way to help control cholesterol levels through diet.
Lorenzo Rawls , NASM Elite Trainer, Fitness, answered
Fiber is probably best known for its ability to prevent or relieve constipation. But fiber also provides many other health benefits.
A diet high in fiber may reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. Research has shown that people who increase their whole grain and cereal fiber intake have a lowered risk for type 2 diabetes. This may be due to the fiber itself, as well as the micronutrients in fiber.
A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of disorders such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticular disease (the development of small pouches in your colon).
Fiber may lower blood cholesterol levels and slow the absorption of sugar. In addition, a high intake of fiber has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
Finally, adding fiber to your diet may help with weight loss. In general, foods high in fiber require more chewing time. This gives your body time to register when you’re no longer hungry, and you are less likely to overeat. Also, eating a high-fiber diet may cause you to stay full for a longer amount of time than usual, because a meal high in fiber may feel larger in your stomach.
Research has shown that eating a high-fiber diet as part of an overall healthy lifestyle may play a role in maintaining a healthy body mass index (BMI). Other research has shown that women with low-fiber, high-fat diets are more likely to be overweight than women who follow high-fiber, low-fat diets.
Lindsey Duncan, Nutrition & Dietetics, answeredGetting enough daily fiber in your diet is critical for your health. Fiber has so many benefits including: softening your stools, reducing constipation, absorbing toxins, removing waste from your body, balancing blood sugar, lowering your cholesterol and your risk of colon cancer, as well as assisting your body with weight loss.
Eating fiber also helps release hormones that make you feel full and satiated. If you take fiber 20-30 minutes before a meal, you can reduce your appetite and the quantity of the food you eat by roughly 75 percent.
If you take a fiber supplement like cold-milled flaxseed or hemp seed, you can also help support your cardiovascular health. In fact, a ten-year study highlighted in the Journal of the American Medical Association demonstrated that fiber particularly found in cereal grains, lowers your risk of heart disease.
Ashley Koff, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answeredDietary fiber is critical to a healthy diet and the proper functioning of our bodies. It helps our bodies absorb simple carbohydrates efficiently; it help us feel full; it aids digestion both by adding bulk to stool and by scraping the lining of the digestive tract (our built-in cleaning system); it aids heart health; and as a prebiotic, it promotes a hospitable environment for probiotics, the healthy bacteria that help our digestion and support our immune system. Although fiber is not technically a nutrient, its role in managing the nutrients in your body -- and its energy equations -- is so essential to your health and metabolism that we might as well call it a nutrient.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics answeredFiber is known for its health benefits for your digestive system and its role in colon cancer prevention, and fiber is good for the heart, too.
Years of research suggest soluble fibers in beans, psyllium, oats, flaxseed and oat bran help lower blood cholesterol levels for some people. Additionally, a high-fiber diet might be lower in fat and may also help displace fattier foods you do eat.