5 Benefits of Eating More Fiber

Fiber is an essential part of a healthy diet, but most Americans aren’t eating enough. Just 5% of Americans consume the recommended 25-30 grams of fiber each day. This means nearly everyone could stand to increase their fiber intake. 

Our team at Nova Physician Wellness Center is dedicated to helping you achieve and maintain optimal wellness. Adopting health-promoting eating habits is part of that foundation of healthy habits.

The lowdown on fiber 

Fiber comes from plants, so if your diet is short on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds, you aren’t getting enough of this vital nutrient. Fiber is the indigestible part of the plant, and you get two types of fiber in your diet: soluble and insoluble. 

Plant foods contain a mixture of both types of fiber, so you’re sure to get enough of both kinds if you eat a variety of different plant foods. 

The richest sources of fiber are:

Our experts have put together five key fiber benefits that everyone should know. Fiber does all of these things to improve your wellness.

#1 Promotes heart health

A fiber-diet is good for your heart. In fact, a high intake of dietary fiber significantly cuts your risk of heart disease. And in high-risk individuals, fiber slows the progression of heart disease. There is strong evidence that dates back for years to support the notion that fiber promotes heart health. 

Heart disease remains the leading cause of death among adults in the United States. Boosting your fiber intake is one way to keep your heart healthy and cut your risk of dying from heart disease.

#2 Reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes

A diet rich in fiber reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Fiber, particularly the soluble type, slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, which helps to keep blood sugar levels stable.

If you have high blood sugar or are at risk for having it, adding more fiber to your diet is a wise step in adopting healthier eating habits that can help control your blood sugar. If you have Type 2 diabetes, a high fiber diet can help manage your condition. 

People with diabetes have a higher risk of developing heart disease. Fortunately, studies such as one presented by the American College of Cardiology shows that eating 24-30 grams of fiber a day significantly cuts heart disease risk in people with Type 2 diabetes.

#3 Is good for your gut

Promoting digestive health is one of fiber’s most well-known benefits. Fiber keeps food moving through the digestive tract, adds bulk to stool, softens stool, and lowers the risk of ulcers, colon polyps, and colorectal cancer. 

A diet rich in dietary fiber is vital for digestive health.

#4 Aids in weight loss

Fiber helps manage weight in a number of ways. Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance that can help you feel full for longer after a meal compared to foods that are low in fiber.

 It also slows how quickly your stomach empties, which can significantly reduce appetite and total food intake. Fiber also lowers inflammation, an underlying problem in people who are overweight. 

#5 Lowers cholesterol

As fiber sweeps through the digestive tract, it attaches to fat and cholesterol so that your body excretes it instead of absorbing it into the bloodstream. This helps to promote healthy cholesterol levels. 

Additionally, certain types of soluble fiber specifically reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), a harmful type of cholesterol that builds up in the arteries and causes them to stiffen and narrow, causing atherosclerosis. 

Whether you’re looking to slim down, improve your eating habits, or improve your heart health, our team is here to help you take steps in the right direction. Contact us at Nova Physician Wellness Center to schedule a consultation with Dr. Suri, Dr Chaudhary, or one of our nurse practitioners. 

We have three Virginia offices in Fairfax, Ashburn, and Vienna. Contact the office nearest you today or book your request online.

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