High Fiber Foods and Why You Need Them!

Ok so does anyone else feel like they are hearing more and more about fiber lately from bloggers, nutritionist and dietitians? Maybe it is just me but I feel like that is something I am learning more about and wanted to share the breakdown with you because fiber is actually SO important!! 

What is fiber? Fiber is a dietary material containing substances such as cellulose, lignin, and pectin, which are resistant to the action of digestive enzymes.

Cool...still have no idea what that means...hahah

So fiber is the indigestible part of carbohydrates. It is found in fruits, veggies, legumes and grains but not animal products. Since fiber cannot be digested it has no calories. It passes right through our bodies! So only the carbohydrate portion of a food contributes calories. So foods that are high in fiber and low in net carbs (found by subtracting fiber from total carbs) pack the least amount of calories. 

There are two different types of fiber; insoluble and soluble. 

  • Soluble fiber absorbs and swells like a sponge making you feel full. It binds with calories and fat and pulls them out of the body before they can enter the bloodstream. Good sources of soluble fiber are oatmeal, oat bran, apples, oranges, pears, lentils, strawberries, nut, beans, died peas, blueberries, cucumbers, celery and carrots. 
  • Insoluble fiber also known as roughage helps aid in the passage of material through the digestive tract, burning calories in the process. Good sources of insoluble fiber are whole wheat, whole grains, barley, couscous, brown rice, seeds, zucchini, cabbage, onions, dark leafy veggies, broccoli, apples and grapes. 

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that women get 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day and men get 38 grams. However, most adults are only getting 9 to 11 grams! This has a lot to do with the amount of processed foods we are consuming because those foods tend to be stripped of their fiber. Without fiber people feel more hungry and tend to overeat. 

So what does fiber make weight loss easier?

  • It adds bulk to foods without adding calories.
  • it boosts your metabolism because your body can digest it even though it tries too and burns calories in the process.
  • It slows digestion and steadies blood sugar levels with helps control cravings and sustain energy. 
  • It absorbs calories and fat from other foods in the meal before the body can absorb them and then carries that with them as it passes through and out the body. 

Benefits of eating fiber?

  • Gives you more energy because it helps maintain blood sugar levels to keep you from crashing.
  • Clears up your skin! Because fiber helps eliminates toxins in your blood you will have brighter and clearer skin! And many high fiber foods are also rich in antioxidants.
  • Healthier gut because fiber fights against inflammation! 
  • Flatter tummy! It helps increase bowel movements and can aid in eliminating bloating. 

One of my favorite products are GG Crackers from Whole Foods or off Amazon! They are essentially packed with fiber and a great vehicle for eating other foods like eggs and veggies! You can grab some for yourself through the link below! This is for a pack of 5 and they last me at least a month or so!!