Everything You Need to Know About Dietary Fiber
Everything you need to know about dietary fiber
According to Health Canada, most parts of Canadians do not consume enough dietary fiber. However, their consumption is essential for a healthy diet. Health Canada has reported that women should consume 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should consume 38 grams. Most Canadians would only consume half of what is recommended.
What are dietary fiber? These are the carbohydrates present in plants that are not digested or absorbed by our digestive system. They are either soluble or insoluble. Insoluble fibers allow good intestinal transit. Soluble fibers help to reduce cholesterol present in blood and improve glycemic control.
Why consume them?
- To prevent constipation
- To reduce cholesterol present in the blood
- To help glycemic control (level of sugar in the blood)
Where to find insoluble fiber?
- Vegetables (cauliflower, kale, spinach, turnip, green beans, peas)
- Fruits (raspberries, bananas, blueberries)
- Whole grains (wheat bran)
- Nuts (almonds)
- Beans (peanuts, black beans, red beans, lentils, chickpeas, etc.)
Where to find soluble fiber?
- Vegetables (asparagus, carrots, Brussels sprouts, onion)
- Fruits (apples, strawberries, pear, grapefruit, orange, mango, prunes, lemon)
- Whole grains (oats, oat bran, barley, quinoa, rice, amaranth, spelt)
- Flax seeds and chia seeds
5 tips to consume more dietary fiber:
- Look at the nutritional values of food and accord importance to the quantity in grams of dietary fiber.
- Eat whole-grain pasta, bread, and flour. Also, you can replace white rice with brown rice.
- Include beans in your diet. You can add it to soups and salads, as an example. A hummus snack (chickpea spread) is great too.
- Choose vegetables and fruits rich in dietary fiber (see the list above). Consume them in their entirety to make sure you eat the fiber as well.
- Choose snacks rich in fiber. You can add chia or flax seeds to your yogurts or smoothies. The consumption of nuts as a snack is also excellent!
Finally, don't forget to drink a lot of water! Consuming water is essential for our health, but it will also prevent gastrointestinal discomfort associated with high dietary fiber diet.
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