Whether you’re following a weight loss plan, or just pay attention to health and nutrition advice, one of the most common tips you’ll hear involves eating more fiber. The average American diet includes only 15 grams of fiber per day, falling far short of the recommended 25 grams (for women) or 38 grams (for men). Most of us are not consuming enough fiber… But why is this so important?
Fiber protects against disease. A diet high in fiber can protect against type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer (cancers of the digestive tract, in particular).
Fiber can help you lose weight. No matter which type of weight loss plan you pursue, fiber will be an important component. Fiber in your diet can help you feel full for longer periods of time, preventing cravings while promoting healthy digestion.
Obviously, weight loss (or maintenance) and disease prevention are interrelated. Fiber is included in many many foods that comprise a healthy diet, so you’re really “killing two birds with one stone” if you monitor and increase your fiber intake correctly.
What do we mean by “correctly”? We recommend that you don’t simply read food labels and choose foods that appear to contain fiber. Many processed and packaged foods contain added fibers, which are sometimes synthetic, and are sometimes not even digestible! Plus, by getting most of your fiber from artificial sources, you would be overlooking naturally fiber-containing foods, which also contain other phytonutrients important to disease prevention.
So, choose foods that are naturally high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds, oatmeal, and whole grains. Try to vary the sources, because it’s not just fiber you’re after; you want a well-rounded, diverse diet for best results.
If you’re interested in a weight loss plan or simply want to adjust your diet for anti-aging and disease-prevention purposes, give us a call. We can discuss a nutritional plan specifically designed to help you reach your goals.