Everyone talks about and knows the importance of protein, carbohydrates and fats. However, one of the most important nutrients is still forgotten and that is fiber. As a matter of fact, fiber is also a type of carbohydrate but the interesting part is that it does not spike your blood glucose. Why is fiber so important for us, how much do we need and what are the different types? Let’s get into it!
· Fiber supports easier and effortless bowel movement
· It regulates your blood glucose level
· It enhances insulin sensitivity
· It indirectly supports fat loss, by making you feel fuller
· It allows the gut to absorb more nutrients from food
· It helps in controlling, diabetes, blood pressure and obesity.
Fiber is broadly categorized under two categories:
1. Soluble fibers
2. Insoluble fibers
As the name suggests, this type of fiber is soluble in water. It helps in binding food in order to optimally absorb the nutrients. Oats, brown rice, barley, legumes, quinoa, ragi etc. are the dietary sources of soluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber does not get digested in the gut. The basic function of insoluble fiber is to improve and facilitate bowel movement. It acts like a detoxifer and helps remove toxins and waste from the body. Fruits and vegetables (with peel) are the primary sources of insoluble fiber.
Don’t Over Do It Either!
However, excessive consumption of fiber can also lead to some health complications. Gastric issues, lowering the HDL aka good cholesterol, unintended weight loss and impaired nutrient absorption are all problems associated with consuming too much fiber.
How Much Fiber Should You Consume
As per the general recommendation is concerned, women should consume 25gms of fiber in a day, whereas for men, 35gms of fiber per day should do the trick. But it also depends on the total amount of food you are consuming in a day. The more the food you consume the more the fiber you will need.
Note: If you are increasing your fiber consumption, it is always a smart idea to increase your water intake as well. Try to drink a minimum 8-10 liters of water in day to avoid any complications.