This blog was written by Lisa Larkin. Meet our blogging fitness specialists at the NIFS website.
Other than supposedly helping you go the bathroom, do you know the importance of adding fiber to your diet? Our bodies can’t digest it, so why eat it?
Benefits of Getting More Fiber
Fiber is actually considered a carbohydrate. It has many health benefits, and helps to regulate digestion. It also helps you to feel full longer, which could help you cut back on total daily calories, helping you to lose weight. When you lose a few extra pounds, you also decrease your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and heart attack; you also lower cholesterol levels and decrease joint pain. Adding fiber to your diet can also help to lower the risk of several forms of cancer.
How Much Fiber Do You Need?
Shoot for getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day, which most of us are not even close to getting. And here's a very important side note: Add fiber to your diet slowly, over two to three weeks. If you add too much too fast, you may have stomach issues! Also, drink plenty of water when taking in more fiber to help keep things moving through your system.
How to Get More Fiber
Are you wondering how to add more fiber to your diet? Here are some tips:
- Increase the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat.
- Add more whole-wheat products into your diet.
- Eat popcorn instead of potato chips.
- Snack on fruit instead of candy.
- Keep some nuts at your desk or in your car for when you need something to hold you over.
- Eat oatmeal for breakfast.
- Try more recipes with beans and lentils.
- Purchase unprocessed foods.