As you learn how to eat healthy foods that support your weight loss plan, you will hear a lot about fiber. What’s so important about fiber? How much should you eat? And how does it help you stay healthy? Here’s what you need to know.
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is indigestible. That means it passes through your digestive tract, and is not digested. But it still performs an important role in digestion! Fiber absorbs water as it passes through your intestines, and is then fermented by bacteria in your colon. It improves gut health and provides fuel for those cells. We also know that a diet high in fiber can help to prevent certain diseases like colon cancer.
As far as your weight loss plan is concerned, fiber helps you to feel full between meals. Therefore, eating a diet high in fiber can help to prevent cravings and keep your eating plan on track. You can find fiber in foods like beans, brussels sprouts, avocado, dried fruits, chia seeds, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and more. Oatmeal and whole grain products also provide an excellent source of dietary fiber.
How much fiber is adequate? The recommended daily intake (RDA) is 25 grams per day for women, and 38 grams per day for men. Of course, individual health conditions and goals might impact these numbers. Some people have conditions that require them to limit fiber intake, whereas others might need a bit more. Always discuss dietary issues such as fiber intake with your doctor, so that you know how much you should be eating.
And of course, rapidly changing your diet can cause digestive discomfort, so increase your fiber intake gradually. To prevent constipation, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.
Let’s discuss your fiber intake at your next appointment, to be sure you’re eating enough of this important nutrient. We will also discuss how to incorporate more fiber into your diet so that you support your weight loss plan.