A dieting plan high in fiber can go a long way in helping to prevent diseases, and promote weight loss and improving health. Many assume fiber is nothing more than a fix for relieving constipation. Yet a diet rich in whole grains and legumes, fruits, vegetables, lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, cancer and other conditions.
There are two different types of fiber: which are known as soluble and insoluble. When soluble fiber dissolves into water, it creates a gel-like substance that lowers cholesterol and glucose levels. Soluble fiber is responsible for lowering the absorption of sugar, which benefits diabetics by keeping blood sugars level. Soluble fiber is found in oats, peas, beans, apples, oatmeal, citrus fruits and other foods.
Insoluble fiber advocates better digestion, helps alleviate constipation and assists in regulating bowl movements. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts and other vegetables are strong in fiber that is insoluble. High-fiber diets helps weight loss because the foods take a longer time to chew, which gives the body more time to realize that it is full. This prevents people from overeating. High-fiber foods also encourage satiety and reduced hunger. Generally the amount of fiber recommended is 20 to 35 grams.
High-fiber foods include: bran cereals, peanuts, beans, peas, oat bran, raspberries, wheat bran, whole grain bread and whole-wheat pasta. By following the nutrition labels on foods or following charts that disclose fiber counts, it is simple to stay on a high-fiber diet. For example, 3/4 cup Fiber One has 12 grams of fiber, while 1/3 cup of cooked garbanzo beans has 10 grams of fiber. As well as filling up on high-fiber foods, staying away from processed foods such as pasta, bread and rice is important.
Experts also recommend drinking 64 fluid ounces of liquid a day, preferably water.