A powerhouse nutrient like fiber can help you manage your weight, avoid disease, and relieve chronic conditions. However, many of today’s diets are designed to fill you up on protein and fat. Carbs and sugar are often vilified, and fiber is much forgotten.
But skipping fiber means your body is missing out on a wealth of health benefits. The fiber you get from whole foods, fruits and vegetables also contain vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and therefore, promote health and wellbeing.
There are two different types of fiber in whole foods —
Soluble fibre : Soluble fiber soaks up water and turns into a gel-like substance during digestion, which slows things down and helps keep your blood sugar stabilized.
Insoluble fibre : Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool and makes it easier for food to pass through the stomach and intestines.
Warning signs for lack of fibre
Though the symptoms of a fiber-poor diet aren’t always clear-cut, there are four key warning signs to watch for:
Constipation : If you’re having fewer than three bowel movements a week, and the stools are hard and dry, you’re constipated. However, it can result from lack of fiber, but also from too little exercise.
Weight Gain : Fiber contributes to satiety. If you’re not experiencing that feeling, you may be eating more than your body needs.
Blood Sugar fluctuations : If you have diabetes and find controlling your blood sugar difficult, you may not be getting enough fiber.
Diet related Nausea and Tiredness : Getting most of your calories from a high-protein/low-carbohydrate diet, may lead not only to a rise in cholesterol, but also leave you nauseous, tired, and weak.
At the end of the day, there are a plethora of health benefits that come with eating more fiber, so it’s important to make it a focal point in your diet as much as lean protein and healthy fats. When you’re ready to give your diet a fiber boost take it slowly. Too much fiber too fast can cause cramps, gas, bloating, and diarrhea.