Fibre, sometimes also referred to as Dietary Fibre is not technically a ‘nutrient’ by definition. Nonetheless, foods high in fibre are an extremely important part of our diets.
The fat burners for women that actually work will offer the best results to the people. There are some essential things that you need to know to get the desired results. The preparation of the right diet is also essential for individuals to get a safe and healthy body with reduction in the weight.
The very fact that it is able to pass through our body without getting absorbed is the primary reason as to why fibre is so important.
What is fibre?
Fibre is a very valuable part of a healthy diet. A diet that is rich in foods high in fibre has many health benefits.
Such a diet can help to prevent diabetes, some cancers, weight gain and heart diseases, not to mention it can also help to improve overal digestive health.
Clearly fibre is very important.
Yet on average, most people don’t get enough fibre. An average person in a developed nation ingests about 14 grams of fibre in a day. The general recommended requirement is at least 20 grams per day.
Foods high in fibre are known to come exclusively from plants.
Foods like fish, meat and even dairy products don’t have any fibre.
There are two types of Fibre, insoluble fibre and soluble fibre. Each of the two types of fibre helps keep your body in shape in a variety of ways and hence a normal, healthy diet requires fibres of both types.
Keep caution though that if you happen to have any digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), there may be a need to augment the amount and sometimes even the type of fibre in your diet depending on your symptoms. Your doctor or dietician should be able to shed further light on the matter.
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Foods high in fibre
The average person should be taking in noticeably more fibre than they usually do. Here are a few foods high in fibre that can help boost your fibre intake
You can add fibre to the already growing list of why an apple a day keeps the doctor away. This easily available and very inexpensive fruit is a great source of fibre. Like other veggies and fruits that have edible peels, eat your apple au natural. The apple peels are an extremely useful source of fibre and also nutrients and phytochemicals. One medium sized apple has about 4.4 grams of fibre.
In case you happen to love carrots, you may be interested to try parsnips as well. While this lovely vegetable may look like white carrots, it has a very distinct (And delicious) taste. A nine inch cooked parsnip can carry as much as 5.8 grams of fibre.
Perhaps listening to your parents when they asked you to eat your broccoli wasn’t such a bad idea. A cup of raw chopped broccoli carried about 2.4 grams of fibre along with some large volumes of Vitamin D and K. Make sure you don’t overcook it though, steam it till it starts to turn bright green in order to maintain some of the nutrients and fibre present.
Oh not brussels sprouts! It’d be a good bet to say that the only time you ever tried Brussels sprouts was as an over boiled mush. However it is actually a whole new experience when it gets caramelized through roasting or even just shredded and added raw to salads. Each sprout has about 0.5 grams of fibre.
We already mentioned parsnips, it is only fair that we give the humble carrot its turn in the limelight. Other than being a great source for beta-carotene, carrots also happen to be great sources of fibre. 100 grams of raw carrots carry about 2.9 grams of fibre and half cup of cooked carrots are known to carry about 2.3 grams of fibre.
Whole grains. In order to be of any good source of fibre, grains need to be in their whole and unprocessed form. During the refining process, the bran is removed, leaving behind a product without much fibre content. Cooked long grain brown rice carries about 1.8 grams fibre per 100 grams serving while the same mass of cooked long grain white rice carries only about 0.4 grams of fibre. Considering what we learned about carbohydrates in an earlier post, all the more reason to stick to complex, wholgrain based carbs
Technically speaking, quinoa is a seed but it is often confused for a grain. Carrying 5.2 grams in a cooked single cup serving, it is one of the nest carriers of fibre. It also carried up to 8.1 grams of protein per cooked cup. If this superfood has never touched your taste buds, it really should!
Foods low in fibre
Nutritionists usually wouldn’t lead you towards a low fibre diet as it severely limits not only fibre intake but many other important nutrients as well. A low fibre diet usually tries to stay away from nutty and grainy foods which are rich in fibre. Fibre is important to a healthy diet, so you are likely to be prescribed this if you suffer from something irritbal bowel syndrome.
Here are a few foods that are low in fibre and should be avoided when looking to lose weight, unless recommended by a doctor or nutritionist to help treat a condition:
- White bread
- White rice
- White pasta
- Some high sugar cereals
Soluble fibre is a type of fibre that starts to dissolve in your stomach to create a gel like substance that is a type of glue. The glue like substance traps components of fats, sugars and food, making them all the more difficult for your body to absorb.
This in turn means that the carbohydrates (sugars) are also absorbed at a significantly slower rate resulting in blood sugar being steadier for a longer period of time. Foods high in fibre, and also complex carbohydrates, also tend to have much lower GI scores resulting in the also sugars being released more slowly.
When the soluble fibre is dissolved it can also attach itself to certain fats in your stomach. People who are having high fibre diets are hence less likely to experience high cholesterol. The fibre can attach to and absorb the cholesterol in your intestine before it enters into the bloodstream. This is primarily what happens when low density lipoproteins, also known as bad cholesterol, which when exposed to high levels, could also lead to very serious health problems. Those people who aim to lower their cholesterol are hence advised to intake high fibre foods and reduce their intake of Trans and saturated fats.
Some foods with high soluble fibre include barley, oats, peas, most beans, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts etc.
Insoluble fibre is the fibre that does not dissolve in water or inside your stomach. Instead it absorbs water and increases in its size. As it passes through your digestive system, is provides moisture and bulk to stools which is a natural laxative effect and hence reduces the symptoms of constipation. Bulkier stools also promote a healthier colon.
Keep caution that People that suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) should be careful eating foods high in insoluble fibre on an empty stomach. Although insoluble fibre is important towards a healthy diet, it could trigger the symptoms of IBS. Hence nutritionists may recommend sufferers to mix high insoluble fibre foods with the other foods containing less fibre to minimize the problem.
How much fibre a day
For adult human beings, the recommended intake is 20g of fibre a day. However, most people don’t eat enough.
You don’t really need to keep a track of the amount of fibre in all the food that you eat but if you are making wholegrain foods, vegetables and fruits the basis of your meals you should be able to easily reach the recommended amount.
In case you do decide to increase your fibre intake, it is recommended to do it gradually. Suddenly upping your fibre intake can lead to stomach cramps, wind and bloating. However your digestive system will slowly adapt to your increased intake of fibre and any problem will side away. Make sure you also drink enough fluids in case you increase your fibre intake as fibre absorbs water. If you don’t drink enough water you may end up getting constipation.
Effects of a high fibre diet
Most fibre-rich foods are also known to be low in fat and packed with minerals and vitamins and when you talk about preventing diseases, it seems to have a whole package of important nutrients. For example, wholegrains like barley, wheat, rye, brown rice and oats contain not only fibre but a host of other nutrients which may end up reducing the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, strokes as well as significantly reducing the risk of diabetes. These also include antioxidant nutrients like Zinc, Vitamin E and a range of plant compounds known as phytochemicals.
Effects of a low fibre diet
Other than the part of bowel movements which we have already covered earlier in the article, you may also gain an elevated cholesterol level by not intaking proper amounts of fibre in your diet. During digestion, your body will secrete bile acids, which also contain cholesterol from your body. Usually a large portion of this cholesterol would be reabsorbed into your body along with nutrients from the food. However when dietary fibre is present, it will bind to the bile acids and removes them along with the cholesterol they contain from your body as waste.
Along with this, a low fibre diet could also contribute to weight gain because as fibre swells, it provides you a feeling of fullness as you eat. The longer you feel satisfied after having eaten your food, the less likely it is that you will overeat.
It is apparent that consuming the correct amount of fibre is highly beneficial to a weight loss diet plan. In summary, fibre comes in two types, soluble and insoluble, which both help with digestion in different ways. Foods high in fibre also contain various nutrients that help fight disease.