If you’ve ever been asked “have you had your daily dose of fiber?”– and you’re anything like us, you probably don’t know the answer. Why is fiber so important, and why are we being bombarded with TV commercials, magazine ads, and food packaging all trying to get us to eat more of the stuff?
To shed some light on the subject, we’ve compiled a list of the top eight things you probably didn’t know about fiber.
1. Fiber prevents overeating
High fiber foods typically require more time to chew, giving your body time to register when you’re no longer hungry. This will prevent you from overeating and allow you to eat smaller, more balanced meals.
2. Fiber lowers calorie intake
High fiber foods are usually lower in calories— enabling you to feel fuller and eat less without consuming as many calories. This will help you achieve the recommended intake of under 2,000 calories per day.
3. Choose fiber-rich foods over supplements
When looking to add fiber to your diet, opt for fiber rich foods. Although supplements provide a daily dose of fiber, they don’t provide vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial nutrients found in high-fiber foods.
4. How to know if your fiber intake is low
If you’ve recently experienced a random weight gain, have high cholesterol, or irregular blood sugar levels– your diet may be lacking fiber. Start adding foods that are high in fiber to your diet and your symptoms should subside after a few weeks.
5. Beware of unhealthy ingredients
Many fiber supplements include artificial sweeteners, laxatives, or other unnecessary ingredients. If you opt for supplements, be sure to check the packaging to make sure you’re choosing the right one, or ask your doctor which supplement is best for you.
6. Know your high-fiber foods
The top five fiber rich foods are: legumes, bran, prunes, Asian pears, and quinoa. Time to stock up!
7. Health benefits
Fiber has many proven health benefits. Some of them include lowering the risk for diabetes and heart disease, protecting against colon cancer, and avoiding kidney stones.
8. Get Your daily dose
Daily fiber recommendations are 38 grams per day for men, and 25 grams for women. Visit allrecipes.com for some high fiber recipes to help you reach your daily dose.