Health Benefits and Risk Factors of Dietary Fiber

A high-fiber diet is essential as it makes bowel motions more predictable. A high-fiber diet helps gain weight and aids with digestion. Having a voluminous stool makes it simpler to get eliminated out of the colon, reducing the risk of constipation. Dietary fiber may assist the stool in becoming firmer because it absorbs water, adds volume, and helps maintain healthy bowel movements. People who eat a lot of dietary fiber are less likely to develop hemorrhoids and pouches in their colons (diverticular disease).

Additionally, high-fiber diets have reduced the chance of colorectal cancer. Eating a cholesterol-lowering diet rich in soluble fiber may help reduce cholesterol levels, including good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Other cardiovascular benefits like lowering blood pressure and inflammation have also been shown to consume high dietary fires. Other benefits are as follows:

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Soluble fiber may delay the absorption of sugar and improve blood sugar levels in individuals with diabetes. Including insoluble fiber in a balanced diet may also help prevent type 2 diabetes.

The meals with a high fiber content tend to be more filling, so the person is more likely to eat less and feel satiated for a more extended period.

Dietary fiber-rich meals tend to have fewer calories per serving than less-fiber ones.

When researchers studied people who consumed more dietary fiber, namely cereal fiber, they realized that those who consumed this additional fiber had a much lower chance of dying from cardiovascular disease and malignancies.

There is no risk of consuming dietary fiber inadequately or in moderation. However, intake of excess dietary fiber leads to intestinal blockage, reduced blood sugar levels, weight gain, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloating. The recommended intake is twenty-five grams daily for women and is around thirty-eight grams for men. Women of 50 years or older can take up to 21 grams of dietary fiber. Men of the same group can consume 30 grams daily. Discomfort arises from consuming excess dietary fiber, and it can be solved by exercising and drinking more water. Therefore, dietary fibers possess more benefits in comparison to potential disadvantages.

Sources of Dietary Fiber
Well-chosen dietary fiber sources include whole-grain goods, fruits, and vegetables, other legumes, including beans, peas, lentils, non-sweetened nuts, and seeds. Refined grains separated from the bran contain reduced husk, a rich source of fibrous cellulose. Thus, most processed and polished grains are unsuitable for adequate dietary fiber levels. Some dietary fiber sources are as follows:

High-fiber breakfast cereal contains more than five grams of dietary fiber per serving. Packed cereals with food labeling such as whole grain-rich, bran, or fiber-rich are excellent choices while grocery shopping.

Replacement of white flour with whole-grain flour is beneficial for baking. To boost the dietary fiber value of baked goods, one can add ground bran cereal, unprocessed wheat bran, or raw oats.

Fruits and vegetables are nutrient-rich foods that are significant sources of dietary fiber.

Fiber is present in lentils, peas, and kidney beans. Therefore, substituting packed fruit and vegetable juices with whole fruits and vegetables adds the necessary dietary fiber diet.

Other sources are berries, broccoli, avocados, popcorn, dried fruits, potatoes, apples, and nuts.

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