Don't Say Eww; Say Yes to Fiber

Don't Say Eww; Say Yes to Fiber

 

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Most often we avoid 'Fiber' (also known as roughage) as a food choice. We jump on  scrumptious carbohydrates full of starch and sugar but leave behind the other form of carbohydrate i.e., Fiber. The prime reason may be because it feels less appetizing compared to other carbs. This might be due to its simple taste. It might also be due to its rough or denser form. People have a craving for more refined, processed and ultra-processed food as it is appealing to their taste buds. But chewy or denser food like fiber doesn't pass through the checklist of our food menu. But before making the final decision whether you have to opt-in or out of saying 'Yes' to fiber, let's dig into an analysis of fiber's role in human food. 

 

          Fiber is primarily classified as soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber, for example peas, lentils, beans and oats gets dissolved in water while insoluble fiber such as seeds, vegetables, cereals, whole grains doesn't get dissolved in water. Both forms of fiber give unique benefits to the human body. These two types of fibers are collectively termed as 'dietary fibers'. 'Dietary Fiber' is a plant-based carbohydrate which is not digestible. So, eventually fiber in the human body passes out without getting digested or broken down into finer components. Unlike other carbs they don't act as an energy source for the human body. They either get fermented by our gut's bacteria or pass out directly. 

 

Nevertheless, fiber has surprising benefits to watch out for.

 
  • Removal of toxic waste out of the body– Fiber works as a mass generator for human stool. It makes it easier for intestinal muscles to easily excrete out toxic waste materials. It thus helps in maintaining bowel health by preventing constipation. On the other hand fiber, namely the soluble ones, prevents diarrhea. It retains water to give solidity in stool which  helps people suffering from diarrhea.

 
  • Reduce chances of heart attacks– Cholesterol has an important function in our body. It helps in building healthy cells. But high cholesterol leads to fatty deposits in blood vessels making it difficult for blood to flow properly through the arteries. Especially, high levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) raises risk of heart attack.As said earlier you know that soluble fiber gets dissolved in water. This fiber-water solution can bind with certain fats and absorb cholesterol. In this way it helps in reducing cholesterol level. So, if you consume high fibre foods, you are less likely to suffer from heart attack.

 
  • Reducing Obesity– Although fats, proteins and carbohydrates are required in certain amounts to maintain the proper working of your body, too much can lead to obesity. But most people's eating habits link them to foods containing them at a high level. Another reason for obesity is constant craving or frequent hunger to have food. Foods which are high in fiber are not absorbed into the body immediately like the other macronutrients. This results in increasing satiety. Satiety can be understood by the following from this definition Source as —

".....‘Satiety’ refers to the inhibition of eating following a meal, and it is measured both by the inter-meal interval and by the amount consumed when food is next offered." 

          After fiber intake a person feels full and has no longer craving to eat for a longer period of time.

 
  • Managing Diabetes(Type 2)– High-fiber foods can help if you have Type 2 diabetes. This type of diabetes results due to high levels of glucose(sugar) in blood. High-fiber diets can help you lower your blood glucose levels by ensuring that you feel full without eating any glucose emitting food like other carbohydrates. 

 
  • Protecting from CKD– Creatinine is a by-product of energy creation processes in our body which then filters out to be excreted from the body. It is the function of the kidney to excrete it along with urine. CKD or Chronic Kidney Disease may result from various factors. One of them being high levels of creatinine. Dietary fiber helps in maintaining a balanced level of creatinine in our body, protecting from CKD.

 

         Apart from these there are numerous other benefits which dietary fiber gives to your body. But you must not take it without limits. As you know, too much of anything is bad for you. Whether it's sugar or fiber. So how much  fiber should you take in a day? Find out from the table below.

 

Table 1.

 

Male (age)

Fiber required  (in grams)

Female (age)

Fiber required

(in grams)

1-2

        19

1-2

19

4-8

        25

4-8

25

9-13

        31

9-13

26

14-18

        38

14-18

26

19-50

        38

19-50

25

51 onwards

        30

51 onwards

21

 

 Below are examples of  some foods which you can have as a part of a fiber enriched diet.

 

Table 2.

 

Apple


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Avocado


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Almond


lpuj7i3jbKoVtMQBB0Fm8x8qMe58pH5b11-eRoywBfGvhPxmt8CGnE9gYX-oIrKVs_DlDAPhftHCbZCDzWZDzU-vvJ4ASBkg7zqraJxhoJSd8pEM7N0iVHnqVUg7RPzBXQrwba9r

Banana

OO1OKKInGqCuDc-5r-c9zEZEInyUNueIjWusvtlIJlS2DoFyl85Nf0y8EB4fD8WUNtlfZlBcTCySovAlwuROVAJOPKzVWjzGrM5gSi2hSPLPny3DmxgaTSjdm7TZrXeNZoaAZBA9

Blackberry

UbL_flIEwJJ8CaOq6SVTJ56D0hJZX7N2Q5P6w6cG78m7lDTlYe3iV82LjUpkDj2Nf9RKqAtXZEnaIoG0YhfyYDbGXBjLmkXrARlZxNzEmbOEkqY9y6ynXyOqziYKtW8zSmUcYlzq

Broccoli

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Carrot


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Cauliflower


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Chickpeas


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Coconut

9ECNcrNA54jS5v1RqgQSfq9-JuUgr_VuMvdnYNvsPQBXRSrD_3-OVa0dQznS_VzQ8c9-Q3hygXkWM5T2kEDR77Xj4ADdjmzl8NpIJIyVSaZRZXveIN9gWQi6TatESJ0hwSDXLtpU

Oats

Bh2Bpw0Xwgg8pQPwwzqC-LX4RpGyRb9xnG--cywIxg_f_RP-iBHMw45T_zlVIYg1NsWevewbk7kfjcJgSMwkVqVNP5QxfMdopDriz3cBrndBMHhroMuEbnibMUiaLE0VFM3G5aPf

Orange

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          You can opt for fiber intake along with other nutrients as a daily routine so that you don't fall behind in your healthy mission. If you are sceptical about getting bored of dietary fiber in your food then you should try to make it interesting by trying out different tasty fiber recipes each day. This way fiber intake would be possible along with satisfying your 'taste interest'.

 

Some interesting recipe examples with fiber: 

  • Oats pancake

  • Indian/Asian flat bread with oats and wheat flour

  • Apple-Carrot-Orange Smoothie

  • Banana smoothie

 

And there are loads and loads of other interesting recipes which you can try with fiber. You can come up with your own one too. Keep dietary fiber in your checklist; say yes to health.

 



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