We all know dietary fiber is beneficial to us in more ways than one. It not only promotes gut health, but also helps reduce the heart related risks and other chronic diseases. A high fiber diet is linked to low LDL-c and total cholesterol levels and also tends to lower the risk of developing cancers. Additionally, dietary fiber has low GI value and therefore is a great option for controlling blood sugar levels.
Here’s all you need to know about the fiber.
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- What’s soluble fiber? It is the fiber that can dissolve in water and slows down the digestion. It is also one of the reasons why fiber helps keep you full for longer. Also, it prevents the sudden release of glucose into the blood stream, thereby keeping the blood sugar levels at a constant. It can also help with lowering cholesterol and other heart related risks.
- Insoluble fiber: This type of fiber is not soluble in water and is known more for its role in helping clearing the gut of waste and in helping in maintaining the gut environment for gut flora. It provides the “roughage” found in whole grains, nuts, fruits with peels, veggies etc. It adds bulk to waste in the digestive system that helps clear it out and prevents the onset of constipation.
- Similarities between the two: Both help expel the waste and toxins out of your body. While Soluble does its work by becoming more of a part of the digestive system by dissolving, insoluble fiber acts as an external bulking agent. The main similarity among both is, neither of the two is digested or absorbed like other nutrients in the body. While soluble fiber acts to slow down your digestion, insoluble fiber helps to smoothen and speed up the remaining bolus.
- Which is better? Both are necessary for not only a healthy gut but an overall healthy body. It is important to eat a healthy balanced diet that promises both kinds of fibers along with the other necessary nutrients. In balance, both the fibers work synergistically within the body to keep it at its optimum.
- How much do you need? The guidelines for this may vary demographically and regionally. If your diet is already rich in fiber then you need not stress on taking more additionally. However, if the diet lacks in fiber, you may be suggested to take in fiber accordingly. As per the Indian RDA, the intake for fiber for adults is no less than 25 gm. and no more than 40 gm. per day.
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It is extremely important to remember to water your gut more especially when you increase the fiber intake. Drink more water to avoid dehydration and constipation due to lack of water.
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Last modified: September 9, 2017