why do we need fibre in our diets
Fiber is the part of foods that the body cannot digest or absorb. Found in whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, fiber has many health benefits, such as decreasing the risk of heart disease and aiding in digestive health. Therefore, it is important to consume fiber-rich foods every day to improve the length and quality of life. Two types of fiber are needed for overall health. Insoluble fiber, found in whole-wheat flour products, wheat bran, nuts and vegetables, increases stool bulk and promotes movement of food through the digestive system. Soluble fiber, found in oats, peas, beans, apples, carrots and citrus fruits, dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance that slows absorption of food components, thus allowing the body to retain more nutrients. The recommended daily intake of fiber is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams a day for men, which equates to about 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories consumed. This recommended daily intake can easily be achieved through regular consumption of whole grains and beans, as well as two to three servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Increased consumption of fiber can improve many aspects of health. Fiber-rich foods such as whole-grain breads and cereals help to increase stool bulk, which helps to prevent constipation.
In addition, fiber increases bowel integrity and function, thus minimizing the risk of conditions such as hemorrhoids and diverticulitis. Fruits, vegetables and legumes that contain soluble fiber have been found to lower "bad" LDL cholesterol levels and slow the absorption of sugar in the body, which in turn can decrease the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Fiber can also facilitate weight loss. Because of its bulking quality, fiber can make you feel full and prevent overconsumption of calories during meals and snack times. A 2011 study reported by the National Institutes of Health found that those who consumed higher amounts of fiber over a nine-year period had a significantly less chance of dying from chronic disease than those who consumed less fiber. Fiber consumption of study participants ranged from 12. 6 grams to 29. 4 grams per day in men and from 10. 8 grams to 25. 8 grams per day in women. Those who consumed the most fiber each day had a 22 percent lower risk of death over the nine-year period than those who consumed the least amount of fiber.
Everyone needs the right amount of fibre in their diet we tell you how much you need and how to get it. What is it? is the indigestible part of plants that passes relatively unchanged through the stomach and intestines.
It is mostly made up of, which consist of different types of sugars. There are two types of : soluble and insoluble. Both types are present, in varying degrees, in all plant foods. Soluble fibre can t be digested, but it absorbs water to become a gelatinous substance that passes through the body. Good sources of soluble fibre include fruits, oat bran, barley, beans, lentils, peas, soy milk and soy products. Insoluble fibre is mostly unchanged as it passes through the body and adds bulk to faeces. Good sources include wheat, corn and rice bran, nuts, seeds and wholegrain foods. Resistant starch is not traditionally thought of as fibre, but it acts in a similar way. It is found in many unprocessed cereals and grains, firm bananas, potatoes and lentils. The Heart Foundation recommends adults consume about 30 grams of fibre a day. Experts suggest children should eat 10 grams of fibre a day, plus an additional gram for every year of their age. Fibre is important in aiding digestion. Soluble fibre soaks up water, which helps to plump out the faeces, and allows it to pass through the gut more easily. It slows down the rate of digestion, and this is then counteracted by insoluble fibre, which speeds up the time that food takes to pass through the gut. A lack of fibre, particularly insoluble fibre, can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, colon cancer and haemorrhoids.
It is thought that soluble fibre helps protect against heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol. Cereal fibre seems to offer more protection against coronary heart disease than the fibre from fruit and vegetables. People who are overweight have been shown to lose significant amounts of body fat by increasing the amount of fibre, especially soluble fibre, in their diets. A high-fibre diet also slows glucose absorption from the small intestine into the blood, reducing the possibility of a surge of insulin. Fibre is therefore recommended for people with diabetes and a high-fibre diet can help to prevent development of the condition. Resistant starch is also important for bowel health. Bacteria in the large bowel ferment and change the resistant starch into short-chain fatty acids, which are important for bowel health. A sudden switch from a low- to high-fibre diet can create abdominal pain and increased flatulence. Increase your fibre intake gradually and add it from food rather than supplements. Very high-fibre diets may decrease absorption of minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium, so stick to the recommended intake.
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