Dietary Fibre Is Great – But Don’t Believe ALL the Marketing!
You keep seeing it advertised everywhere – cereal boxes, bread and other food tell you they’re full of fiber. We know dietary fiber is good for you – but what exactly is so great about it?
It is just marketing, or is dietary fibre something that’s genuinely useful to us?
There are 3 main reasons why dietary fibre is good for us – and many people quote another fourth reason, but sadly that one is not so accurate.
Read on to find out what dietary fiber can do for you.
Dietary Fiber Benefit #1 – Better Digestion
Constipation is a problem for many people. Even if you eat a healthy diet you may still suffer from constipation. Adding more fibre to your diet will help to better regulate your bowel movements and make life easier. This is one of the main reasons many people eat fibre.
But it’s not just because it’s uncomfortable that you should try to avoid constipation! As well as affecting your digestive processes, frequent constipation can lead to hernias and other painful issues. So avoid constipation by eating plenty of fibre.
Dietary Fiber Benefit #2 – Lower Cholesterol
High cholesterol can be extremely dangerous, and yet we often don’t take it seriously – probably because so many people suffer from it that it seems commonplace.
A poor diet is usually the cause of high cholesterol, and if it’s left untreated for a long time, your arteries can become clogged, causing you to suffer from heart disease and other serious problems. Fiber helps to lower and then maintain your cholesterol level, thus preventing future health issues.
Dietary Fiber Benefit #3 – Blood Sugar Levels
Varying blood sugar levels not only cause us to lose energy and eat more (of the wrong things), but there’s also diabetes to consider.
Because fiber is good for maintaining constant blood sugar levels, it also helps with diseases such as diabetes. If you are overweight or have eaten a diet rich in sugars and fats for many years, you are at risk of developing diabetes.
- Adding fiber to your diet while you’re young and eating it as part of a healthy and balanced diet can help to prevent the development of diabetes later in your life.
- If you are middle-aged and worried about developing diabetes, you can add fiber as one of the precautionary measures to try and prevent it from developing in the near future.
Dietary Fibre WON’T Make You Lose Weight!
Fiber is wonderful, but sadly, it won’t help you to lose weight – only a caloric deficit and a balanced diet can do that.
However, if you are already eating a balanced diet, then fibre can certainly help you to reach your weight-loss goals.
So, it won’t work on its own for weight loss as such, but it will certainly help if you are already eating well.
Ready For More Fiber?
Great! You want to eat the following foods which are high in fiber:
- Split peas
- Beans (e.g. kidney beans, baked beans, chickpeas)
- Brussels sprouts
- Raw (or minimally processed) unsalted nuts (e.g. almonds, peanuts)
And they’re all foods that are good for the planet too – they’re green and ecofriendly choices!
Some more useful tips:
- A breakfast cereal made with wheat bran has a much higher fiber content than one made with a whole grain or a refined grain.
- Whole wheat bread has more fibre than bread made from white flour.
Most food products are labeled with nutrition facts that give the per-serving fiber content – so read the labels!
Eating enough fiber is important to keep your body regular and avoid constipation. A fibre-rich diet can help to keep your cholesterol in check and your blood sugar levels stable, thus reducing your risk for heart disease and diabetes. Although fibre doesn’t cause weight loss by itself (no matter what some marketers tell you!), if you are already eating a balanced diet, it will help you meet your weight loss goals.
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Do you eat enough fiber? Let me know in the comments below.
P.S. Want to live a simpler, more green and ecofriendly life? (It’s been shown to increase happiness!). You can download your FREE green living handbook “Live Well, Live Green” here. Get it now!