Why Fiber is a Necessary Part of a Healthy Diet

We all know that we need to include fiber as a necessary part of a healthy diet, but few people understand what all the fuss is about. Why do you need to include fiber in your diet and what is dietary fiber anyway?

Dietary Fiber Explained:

Dietary fiber is also often called roughage and bulk, it is made up of all the parts of plants that you eat but which your body cannot digest.  But, why eat it in the first place if you cannot get any nutrients from the fiber alone? Well, dietary fiber might not be digestible, but as it passes through your stomach, small intestine, colon and then finally out of the body it does a great many things that other foods simply cannot.

* It keeps you regular.  We all know that bloated feeling when everything else seems to go right except for your bowels, and you can solve this problem by adding dietary fiber to your diet.  The dietary fiber actually increases not only the size but also the weight of your stools making it easier to pass.  It can also give relief from irritable bowel syndrome and solidify watery stools. Just be sure to drink plenty of water when you eat high-fiber food, because they water will help to keep things moving smoothly.

* It will give you bowel integrity. Simply put, some of the dietary fiber ferments in the colon which will lower your risk for diverticular disease and the development of hemorrhoids.

* It will lower your blood cholesterol levels. Dietary fiber such as the fiber found in oat bran and beans can lower your cholesterol levels by lowering your bad cholesterol levels, which in turn will protect your heart.

* It will help to control your blood sugar levels.  Fiber actually slows down the absorption of sugar which is great news for people who suffer from diabetes because this means that by including fiber in your diet, you will keep your blood sugar levels down.

* It will help you lose weight.  Food that is high in fiber makes you stay fuller for longer and because it takes more time to chew, your body has time to register that it is full and make you less likely to overeat.

* It might reduce colorectal cancer.  Some studies have shown that dietary fiber can reduce colorectal cancer. Diets high in fiber will help your colon to function properly and be healthy.

* It can prevent kidney stones and gallstones.  By adding enough fiber to your diet you will slow down the rate of digestion and stop rapid digestion which in turn will slow down the release of glucose into the bloodstream which the body copes with by releasing large quantities of insulin into the bloodstream.  This basically means that you will be less prone to develop kidney stones and gallstones.

Now that you know how fiber is beneficial for you, watch for my next blog post that will talk about the best source of dietary fiber and explain how to implement fiber foods into your daily eating plan.

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