Fiber is very important for our body. Fiber keeps our gut healthy by increasing the number of good bacteria in our gut and protects it from unhealthy bacteria. Fiber is part of a plant-based diet that our bodies cannot digest. There are two types of fiber – soluble fiber and insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber are good for the human body.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel. It is a form of soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels, reduce the risk of heart disease, and regulate blood sugar levels. Soluble fiber is found in black beans, avocados, sweet potatoes, broccoli, turnips, pears, etc.
Insoluble fiber that is not digested, mixed with feces increases the amount of feces. Insoluble fiber regulates bowel movements by preventing constipation. Insoluble fiber is found in wheat flour, wheat bran, cauliflower, beans, and potatoes.
Evidence of the usefulness of fiber:
People who ate too much fiber had a 16% lower risk of developing cardiac disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer than those who ate too little fiber.
In addition, two observational studies have shown that regular intake of fiber-rich foods reduces the risk of death.
Those who ate high-fiber foods had a 23% lower risk of death than those who ate low-fiber foods. The biggest benefit of a high fiber diet is weight control.
A large study of adults found that those who ate high-fiber foods lost more weight than those who ate very low-fiber foods.
How much fiber should we take in every day?
Too much everything is bad. So we need to consume moderate amounts of fiber-rich foods. On average, American adults consume a total of 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day, which is less than the recommended amount. According to the USDA’s recommended amount:
- 25 grams daily for women up to the age of 50
- 36 grams daily for men up to the age of 50
- 21 grams daily for women over 50
- 30 grams daily for men over 50
What can happen if you take in extra fiber
If a person consumes too much fiber, it can cause digestive problems. So it is important for us to get the right amount of fiber every day. Excessive fiber intake (60 grams) can lead to acidity and constipation.