Health Benefits, Risks, Foods to Add to Diet

Until a person is faced with an unusual scenario, they do not give fiber that much thought. However, dietary fiber works like magic to keep the body healthy.

By lowering cholesterol, fiber reduces the chance of developing heart disease. Additionally, it lowers the chance of developing other diseases, including colon cancer. It prolongs your feeling of fullness and prevents blood sugar spikes, aiding in weight loss.

This article discusses the best fiber-rich foods and their benefits.

What is Fiber?

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Fiber is a form of carbohydrate that the body cannot process. While most carbs are converted into glucose (sugar molecules), fiber cannot be broken down into glucose. Thus, it travels through the body undigested. Fiber helps control appetite and blood sugar levels by regulating the body’s usage of sugars.

Consuming adequate amounts of fiber helps with digestion, weight control, blood sugar regulation, and many other things. It has also been connected to increased longevity and a lower chance of developing cancer.

Health Benefits of Fiber

The advantages of fiber are crucial for children and adults; therefore, everyone should consider a diet high in fiber. To identify bread, cereals, and other foods high in fiber, check product labels for the grams of dietary fiber. Include these foods in your diet to increase fiber intake.

Are you still concerned with the health benefits of fiber? Keep on reading to find out the health benefits:

Helps to Lose Weight

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Both soluble and insoluble fibers slow down food digestion, which keeps a person feeling full for longer. Eating less frequently leads to less calorie intake. fiber makes an individual feel full for longer by absorbing water, swelling and staying in the stomach.

Maintains Blood-Sugar Levels

Psyllium, bran, and legumes contain fiber, particularly soluble fiber, which delays the absorption of sugar from the intestines. As a result, the fluctuations in insulin secretion are reduced, and the blood sugar level is stabilized. Another advantage for people seeking to control their weight is that maintaining low and steady insulin levels allows the body to retain less fat.

Lowers Cholesterol Levels

By lowering the amount of low-density lipoprotein (or bad cholesterol) in the body, soluble fiber reduces cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber is present in flaxseed, beans, oats, and oat bran. Studies have also demonstrated that consuming fiber-rich foods can have several additional heart-healthy advantages, including lowering blood pressure and inflammation.

Maintains Gut Health

Consuming a diet high in fiber can lower the chances of colon polyps and haemorrhoids. Additionally, it controls bowel motions by lowering the risk of constipation. According to research, a high-fiber diet also reduces the incidence of colorectal cancer.

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Slows Fat Absorption

fiber plays a critical role in reducing the rate at which the body absorbs fat from food. This is an additional benefit of a high-fiber diet for managing weight. The stools of people who consume a high-fiber diet contain more fat than those who consume low-fiber meals.

How Does Fiber Help with Weight-loss?

One simple piece of advice will help individuals lose weight more than all the diet manuals, calorie tracking, and portion control combined: have more fiber-rich foods. Adding fiber to your morning diet will help you with weight loss and other benefits too.

High-fiber vegetables and fruits aid in reaching satiety without significantly increasing calorie intake. For instance, when a person chooses a baked potato over a bag of potato chips, they not only consume fewer calories but also become less likely to feel hungry one hour later.

Fenugreek fiber
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How can fiber specifically prevent hunger cravings?

The answer is simple. It keeps the stomach full, activating receptors in the brain that tell an individual to stop eating.

Consuming about eight glasses of water a day helps in the transportation of fiber through the digestive tract and prevents hunger. The soluble fiber slows the absorption of glucose into circulation by absorbing water and forming a kind of gel inside the stomach. An individual becomes less prone to accumulating fat when their blood sugar and insulin levels are in control.

Tips for Adding Fiber to Your Diet

Foods high in fiber are healthy for you. However, increasing fiber too soon may cause stomach bloating, cramps, and intestinal gas. Over a few weeks, gradually up the amount of fiber in your diet. Are you looking for ways to include extra fiber in your meals and snacks? Try these recommendations:

Prefer Fruit Salad over Fried Snacks

A Bowl of Fresh Salad
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A wonderful side dish or dessert option for a high-fiber diet is a fruit salad. Simply mix some favorite fruits and dress with some yoghurt or fruit juice. Add nuts and seeds to the mixture to make the salad more fiber-rich.

Switch White Bread with Whole-Grain Bread

Whole Grain Bread
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People typically the lighter flavor and texture of traditional refined white bread compared to whole grain bread, which is heavier in terms of flavor and texture. Although eating whole-grain bread may take some getting used to, it is far more beneficial for the gut.

Try Brown Rice

Brown Rice
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Because brown rice has high-fiber bran, it has better fiber content than white rice. Compared to white rice, it has a harder texture and a nuttier taste. Individuals who do not like brown rice can also try quinoa or wild rice. They both have more fiber than white rice and taste great on their own or in a pilaf when paired with brown rice.

Eat Oranges

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Not that orange juice is bad for the body, but the fruit contains far more fiber and fluid. It is also more delicious and fulfilling.

Cook Potatoes with Skin

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There may be a developing theme here. The scraps that people typically throw in the compost are quite beneficial for the body. There is a lot of fiber in a potato’s skin, so there is no reason why the skin can’t be included in your recipe. Even mashed potatoes taste great when cooked with potatoes that haven’t been peeled.

Fiber-Rich Food Items

Several foods contain fiber. All you need to do is include these in your diet for a full-fledged fiber meal. Check out the list of fiber-rich food items.

  • Pears: Pear is one of the best fiber-rich fruits and a good source of Vitamin C and Calcium. Each pear has around 6 g of fiber.
  • Strawberries: One would need six cups of strawberries to meet their daily requirement of 28 g fiber intake.
  • Avocado: If one can find that period when the avocado is perfectly ripe, it should be spread on toast, or one can make guacamole out of it. It has 9 g of dietary fiber.
  • Apples: A fruit with edible skin, apples are rich in soluble fibers, making them a great in-between-meals snack. One apple has around 4.4 g of fiber.
  • Raspberries: Among the fruits that contain fiber, raspberries top the list. Adding raspberries to smoothies, oats, or your snacks helps make a tasty, healthy, fiber-rich meal.

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  • Bananas: With bananas, all one needs to do is peel, and their snack is ready. One banana can give the body about 3 g of fiber.
  • Beans: Beans are one of the best fiber-rich foods to add to a diet because a cup of cooked beans has over 15 g of fiber.
  • Broccoli: Packed with 5 g of fiber, this cruciferous green vegetable is extremely undervalued. A wholesome high-fibre diet meal is ready when it is tossed in olive oil with some tofu and green beans.
  • Whole grains: Whole grains are a classic fiber-rich food that one can prepare in various delicious ways. One cup of whole wheat pastry has 5.46 g of fiber.

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How to Switch to a High-Fibre Diet?

A person can reach out to a dietitian or a nutritionist to get a diet chart according to their body’s needs. It will include a healthy portion of fiber-rich foods. Everyone is aware of the health benefits of fiber, and the easiest way to reap its benefits is to add it to the diet.

fiber-rich foods are a healthier option than processed foods. To begin with, one should stock their refrigerator and pantry with adult-friendly fiber-rich fruits and vegetables rather than cold cuts and diet drinks. There is less likelihood of binge eating all night if there are no secret stashes.

Signs of fiber

Frequent constipation

Lack of fullness even after meals

high blood pressure

High cholesterol

poor gut health

Risks of Taking a Low-Fibre Diet

Long-Term Risks

Long-term, insufficient fiber consumption can harm immunological function and overall health. It encourages the development of cardiovascular disease, inflammatory diseases, and obesity.

Short-Term Risks

The short-term risk from eating too little fiber is negligible, but excessive intake of a low-fiber diet can harm health. Making lifestyle changes has proven to make a difference.

Bottom Line

It’s easy to add additional fiber to the diet. People can start by replacing meat, processed meals, and foods rich in fat with foods high in fiber. Consuming a lot of high-fibre foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and pulses, nuts, seeds, and legumes, will benefit gut health greatly.