Most diets focus on adjusting protein, carbohydrates, and fats, but not so many focus on the importance of fiber. You may not know this already, but fiber is actually a type of carbohydrate! However, fiber doesn’t necessarily effect your body the way other carbs do…
First off, you should know that there are actually two different types of fiber, and should also know the difference between the two. These two types of fiber are classified as soluble fibers and insoluble fibers. Soluble fibers can easily dissolve in water, takes a long time to digest, and can slow down the release of other nutrients into the bloodstream. Insoluble fibers, on the other hand, does not dissolve in water, and can promote stool buildup in the body while also helping move food throughout the digestive system. These differences are important in understanding how fiber can be beneficial to your body.
Consuming Fiber Leads To A Longer Life
There are a number of studies that show a positive correlation between the amount of fiber people eat and life expectancy. One study that observed nearly 500,000 European people found that those eating 28 grams or protein or more per day had a 24% less risk of dying than those who ate less than 16 grams! Not a bad way to add some extra years onto your life.
Enhanced Insulin Sensitivity and Blood Glucose Control
This essentially means that fiber can help to slow the entry of nutrients, like glucose, into the blood. Why is this beneficial? When your body slows down the release of glucose into the bloodstream, it allows the body to distribute it across more efficiently. Furthermore, because your body is slowing down the process of glucose entering the bloodstream, it helps with the aid of fat loss altogether.
Fiber Contains Bacteria — Good Bacteria
In case you didn’t know, your body already has “good” bacteria living inside of it. These “good” bacteria help aid the immune system and reduce inflammation. They also feed off of fiber.
Everyone wants a strong immune system. Without a strong immune system, we wouldn’t be able to hit the gym and do everyday activities on a regular basis. Additionally, reducing inflammation in the body can reduce your risk of various diseases, such as insulin resistance and high blood pressure.
You’ll Feel More Full (Satiety)
Fiber has two effects on the body when it’s consumed: (1) it slows down digestion, and (2) adds bulk to your diet. Fiber tends to take up more space within your stomach, helping you feel fuller throughout the day. Fiber is able to do this because it creates a gel once it’s ingested, which is a process that helps send signals to your brain to stop eating because of that “full” feeling.
Fiber not only aids the digestive system, but also the excretion system as well! This could be due to its ability to increase fecal bulk within the body. Additionally, there’s also some research that because of all those extra bathroom trips, people who eat more fiber tend to get rid of more calories in the meantime!
If you think you’re not eating enough fiber on a regular basis, try starting out by adding some more in just one meal. From there, you can start increasing fiber intake until you’re up to 4-5 servings per day! As far as fiber intake is concerned, men should be aiming for around 38 grams per day, while women should be aiming for about 25 grams.
What’s your favorite fiber-food!? How do you feel after having or adding fiber to your meals? Leave us a comment with your experiences below!
- Chuang, S. C., Norat, T., Murphy, N., Olsen, A., Tjønneland, A., Overvad, K., … & Teucher, B. (2012). Fiber intake and total and cause-specific mortality in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition cohort. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 96(1), 164-174.
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