What Is Dietary Fiber And Why Do I Need It?

Let’s Talk about the F word. Fiber…….

We’ve all heard our doctors tell us it is crucial to reach a certain amount of daily fiber, but what is it and why exactly do we need it? Dietary fiber, otherwise known as roughage, is the indigestible part of a plant not digested; instead, it absorbs water and prevents constipation by keeping your bowels running smoothly. Although we love fiber because it keeps our digestion moving, it does so much more.

Fiber is a critical player in weight loss. Its primary role is to help you feel full. By consuming fiber, you can keep the weight off. This is why we always see commercials for fiber supplements. A study found in the American Journal of Nutrition found that high-fiber and low-carbohydrate diets enhance satiety and promote weight loss. Another critical benefit of fiber- it keeps weight off. Since fiber helps you feel full, you are less likely to snack throughout the day. This explains why we are always commercials for high fiber cereal, claiming to keep weight off.

dietary fiber

Image courtesy of Bon Appetit

One of the reasons I suggest my patients avoid juicing is because juicing removes the fiber from the fruit leaving only the sugar and water. Think about all the apples, oranges, or carrots in the juicer after you’re finished. Fiber also plays a vital role in lowering cholesterol, reduces the risk of heart disease, and regulating type two diabetes

Another study found gel-forming fiber such as brown rice, flax, and chia seeds clinically lower cholesterol through good gut bacteria, softens stool, and firms diarrhea. It also helps form good gut bacteria

If you aren’t a vegetable lover, no worries. Food such as beans, bran, flax seeds, and chia seed are all high in fiber. If none of those strike a chord with you, consider supplementation. There are great products like gummy supplements and powders, which contains different types of beneficial fiber. For medical grade fiber supplements 20 percent off retail click here. Just don’t rely on supplementation to reach your daily fiber goal.

I recommend my patients get around 25-35 grams a day. I understand it can be a little daunting to track your fiber intake, but there are great dietary apps like Lose It that can track both your calorie and fiber intake.

If you are interested in learning more or going through your diet and supplements, you can book an appointment here

 

Elizabeth Trattner a.p.

I specialize in women’s health, weight management, allergies, autoimmune diseases and environmental illnesses. I help patients improve and take control of their health and maintain their optimal weight.

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