Do you know how much fiber you eat daily? And do you eat any fiber at all? Dietary fiber is the indigestible portion of food that derived from plants and it has two main components: soluble and insoluble. This food portion is excellent for you if you are trying to lose weight.The author of the book “The Small Change Diet”, Keri Gans, said that fiber is the best ingredient that promotes weight loss. Unfortunately not many people get enough of it.
The author also mentions that women should take about 25-30 grams of fiber daily which is close to the amount in 7 ½ cups of oatmeal, 12 cups of broccoli or 7 apples.
Getting enough fiber by eating whole foods (not by taking fiber supplements) will help you feel satiated longer. The fiber digests slower than simple carbs and it promotes better function of the digestive system. This way it also helps reduce bloating or constipation.
Other foods that are rich in fiber are whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Kery Gans also says that eating half a dozen of apples at the end of the day is not as efficient as spreading the servings throughout the day. She adds that every meal should include at least 8 grams of fiber. To reach the goal of ingesting 30 grams of fiber daily, snacking on a medium pear or half an avocado is a great idea. Both of these foods contain about 6 grams of fiber.
You can also increase the fiber intake if you include more oatmeal (4g of fiber per cup), quinoa (5g of fiber per cup) and barley (8g of fiber per ¼ cup) in your diet.
What makes soluble fiber that important?
Soluble fiber reduces blood cholesterol levels and it also improves the blood sugar levels in diabetics.
Foods that are rich in soluble fiber are oats, some fruits and vegetables and dried beans. There is no strict reference for the recommended daily intake of soluble fiber, however experts recommend about 25-30 grams daily, ¼ of which should be soluble fiber.
Other foods that are an excellent source of fiber are chia seeds (10g per oz) and chickpeas (9g per ¼ cup).