You’re probably familiar with fiber as a key component of any healthy diet, but you might be less familiar with its numerous nutritional benefits and how to optimally incorporate it into your diet. If so, then stick around, cause we’re here to give you the low down on all things fiber!
To begin, it's important to first understand what fiber even is. Fiber consists of the parts of plant foods that the body is unable to digest; so while proteins, fats, and carbohydrates are broken down and absorbed by the body, fiber actually remains intact as it passes through your digestive system.
At this point you might be asking, “are there different types of fiber?” or “is one type better than the other?” Good question! Fiber is often differentiated on nutritional labels as either soluble or insoluble, so what’s the difference? Well, both types are considered “good” fiber, only for different reasons. Additionally, because the levels of soluble and insoluble fiber differ across plant foods,it is important to consider variety when choosing high fiber foods.
Soluble fiber, which dissolves in water, can help lower blood pressure and glucose levels. It’s effectiveness in slowing the absorption of sugar makes soluble fiber particularly helpful in potentiallylowering the risk of developing type two diabetes. Soluble fiber may also help to decrease levels of LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol, as well as reduce blood pressure and inflammation, all of which contribute toproper heart health.
On the other hand,insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. Instead, it aids the movement of food through the digestive system, which helps to normalize bowel movements. This is why a high fiber diet makes youfeel more full more quickly, an effect that may contribute not only to maintaining a healthy weight, but also to losing weight.
So you get it, fiber is healthy. But now the question is:do you get enough of it?The American Heart Association Eating Plan suggests eating 25-30 grams of fiber a day, yet the average adult eats only 15 grams per day (gasp!). There are many sources of fiber that you can incorporate into your diet: whole grains (think oats, quinoa), nuts, legumes, chia seeds, even dark chocolate!But, we may be a little biased when we say that Sacha Inchi seeds are our favorite source of fiber...they contain more protein, more fiber, and less net carbohydrates thanalmonds, making them an ideal ingredient for anyone looking to increase and optimize their fiber intake!
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