Eating more fiber is crucial for a healthy diet! Fiber plays an important role in just about every aspect of your health—from heart health to digestive health to weight loss to better brain function. No matter what diet you follow or what meal plan you try, you should always make fiber a priority in your diet. It’s guaranteed to lead to better health overall. Not sure how to eat the right amount of fiber? Here’s what you need to know:
No Such Thing as Too Much
If you’re trying to eat the right amount of fiber, it’s important to know that it’s nearly impossible to eat too much fiber. Even vegetarians and vegans that only eat high-fiber foods still don’t overdose on the stuff. That’s because fiber isn’t actually absorbed into your body—it’s too large to be absorbed through your intestinal walls. Instead, it’s excreted via your waste matter, after it serves its purpose of scrubbing out your insides and eliminating unwanted nutrients. You can eat all the high-fiber foods you want, and the worst you’ll get is slightly too-loose stools. Go nuts with the fiber, and your body will thank you for it!
Fiber + Sugar = Not Ideal
As you know, your #1 priority when dieting is to cut back on sugar. Sugar is what is absorbed fastest into your body and turned into white, inert fat that is very difficult to burn. That makes any high-sugar food unhealthy—cookies, cakes, sweets, and anything with a lot of sugar is a definite no-no. Really, the only exception to this rule is fruit, but even then it’s not ideal. The fruit in sugar is good for your health, and when paired with the high fiber content of that fruit, you end up with a good balance of nutrients and fiber. But your main source of fiber should always be veggies—there’s far less sugar and carbs in veggies than other foods, meaning they’re far healthier than anything else!
How to Stop the Fiber Gas Problem
Everyone knows that eating a lot of fiber can lead to gas and bloating—a problem caused when the good bacteria living in your intestines break down the fiber. The only reason you’re experienced gas and bloating when eating high-fiber foods is that your body isn’t used to so much fiber. When you eat a lot of fiber, your body becomes adapted to breaking it down without releasing gassy byproducts. If you’re finding that your high-fiber diet is causing a lot of problems with gas, consider reducing your fiber intake temporarily and slowly adding more to your diet over time. It’ll stop the bloating problem and help you get used to eating more fiber!
Soluble and Insoluble
There are two types of fiber, and BOTH are important for your health. Soluble fiber is the stuff that bonds with water, toxins, cholesterol, sugar, and fat particles. Basically, it stops those unwanted particles (and excess water) from being absorbed into your bloodstream. Insoluble fiber doesn’t bond with food, but the larger particles work like scouring pads to get rid of the unwanted food and fecal matter in your intestines. You should always try to eat more of both types of fiber—they’re both critical for your digestive system!
More is Better
Whenever trying to decide how much fiber to eat, the answer is always “A LOT”. Once you get accustomed to digesting the fiber, you’ll find the gas and bloating problems go away, and your digestive system starts to function a lot more efficiently. The result: better health overall!