A high fiber intake supports your health in a number of different ways, but it’s best known for promoting regularity. Fiber adds bulk to your stool, preventing constipation and making bowel movements easier.
Fiber’s benefits don’t begin and end in the bowels. Eating fiber helps you feel fuller faster, which supports healthy weight loss. It reduces the risk of heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease, obesity, constipation, and breast cancer.
Unfortunately, most of us simply do not get enough fiber in our diets. Experts recommend that people should eat between 21 and 38 grams of fiber every day. The average American only consumes 16 grams.
Soluble Fiber vs. Insoluble Fiber
There are two varieties of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and turns into a gel in your digestive tract. Soluble fiber is good for controlling cholesterol and supporting heart health. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water; it passes essentially unchanged through your digestive system. It aids digestion and helps relieve constipation.
What Are the Best High Fiber Foods?
Because the average American diet contains so little dietary fiber, it’s important to plan your meals accordingly. Fiber supplements are readily available, but the best way to add fiber is always through food. Here are some of the best food sources of dietary fiber. All measurements are based on 100 gram servings unless otherwise stated.