When most people think of fiber they think of grandma chugging back glasses of Metamucil, but fiber is not just for geriatrics. The fact is that young adults and middle-aged adults need dietary fiber, too. Fiber can be a great addition to a healthy diet. Dietary fiber can control diabetes and help you lose weight if you are currently not getting enough of the substance daily.
The Benefits of Dietary Fiber
Fiber is important for keeping your digestive system healthy, controlling blood sugar, and for controlling weight. Fiber is instrumental in preventing diabetes. A recent study showed that when thirteen people with diabetes ate a moderate fiber diet, which is around 16 grams of insoluble and 8 grams of soluble fiber, it was as if they were taking diabetes medication. That's right, doubling your dietary fiber intake can be as good as taking diabetes medication to lower insulin levels. What a great way to naturally prevent diabetes.
How does it work? Foods high in fiber take longer to digest which means that insulin is created slowly, preventing blood sugar spikes. Eating more fiber can also help you lose weight. Your body blocks seven calories with every gram of fiber you eat. Fiber also makes you feel full since fiber takes up more space in the stomach than processed foods.
How Much Fiber and How to Get It
The average American eats 10 to 15 grams of dietary fiber per day, but the recommended amount is 20 to 35 grams per day. This amount is easier to get than you may think.
First, eat bread that is high in fiber. Check the package's label and only buy bread that has at least 3 grams of fiber per serving. Today, you can buy bagels, hamburger buns, and rolls that have over five grams of fiber and still taste a lot like white bread. So, if you eat two pieces of toast for breakfast and a sandwich for lunch you could easily rack up 20 grams of fiber without even trying! There are many great tasting cereals available with about 7 grams of fiber per serving too.
There are other easy ways to add fiber to your diet. Buy whole-wheat flour for your cooking instead of white flour, too. Also, do not forget to use whole-wheat pasta. You can also try adding more vegetables, fruits, and nuts to your diet. All three are a great source of fiber. The skin of fruits and vegetable is where the fiber is so do not peel them.
Here are some more ideas:
1. When making tacos, add a can of Mexican style chopped tomatoes to the meat.
2. Add grated vegetables like zucchini, squash, and carrots to spaghetti, goulash, and slices.
3. Sprinkle All-Bran Buds on desserts like ice cream to add a major boost in fiber.
4. Try substituting a serving of meat with a vegetable burger. These are surprisingly good and have three grams of fiber in each patty, as opposed to none in a regular meat patty.
5. Serve corn-on-the-cob instead of potato salad at your next barbeque, and instead of serving chips serve whole grain crackers, peanuts, or sunflower seeds.
Increasing your daily intake of dietary fiber is such an easy thing you can do to better your health, control diabetes and to lose a little weight. The foods you choose with increased fiber will tend to be healthier in general then boosting your health even more. Begin increasing the fiber in your diet today and start reaping the benefits.