Fiber Facts You Need to Know
By Sara Butler
Fiber is your friend. It helps to keep your digestive system in balance and it helps you feel fuller for longer when you eat. But not all fiber is created equal. In fact, many people don’t get enough of the right kind of fiber in their diets to stay healthy. Here are the top fiber myths that can help you make better choices about the kind of fiber to include in your day.
Myth No. 1: There’s Just One Type of Fiber
Nutrition labels may lump together all fiber into dietary fiber, but it’s important to know that there are two different types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Ideally, both should be a part of your diet because they’re both good for your gut and variety is very important when it comes to fiber in your diet.
Insoluble fiber is dry fiber, the roughage that most people think of when fiber is mentioned. You can find it in whole grains, seeds, and bran. Soluble fiber slows digestion down by binding to water in your digestive tract. This type of fiber is very important to help keep your blood sugar stable and keep you feeling satisfied long after you eat. You can find this type of fiber in chia seeds, lentils, bananas, and beans.
Myth No. 2: You Can’t Get Too Much Fiber
You actually can get too much of a good thing. Eating too much fiber can cause unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms. Chances are, you’re coming nowhere near the 38 grams of fiber you should have per day. But if you experience gastrointestinal symptoms, then it may be an indication that you’re having too much fiber.
Myth No. 3: You Only Need Fiber to Stay Regular
If your bathroom habits are regular, you may think you don’t need more fiber in your diet. The truth is that fiber is better for more than just the health of your digestive system. Fiber also has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes or heart disease. It also keeps your appetite in check, which can help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
Fiber is an important part of a healthy and balanced diet. Make sure you're getting enough and that you can separate fact from fiction when it comes to what you need to know about fiber.
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