I’ve taken a few nutrition classes, read parts of health books here and there, and I’ve thought about my diet quite a bit. I know for a fact that there’s a lot I don’t know and yet i also know that without having taking those classes and read those chapters or articles that I would still have a pretty healthy food intake. I can thank my family for this essential trait.
I’ve pondered the habits which I developed in my environment and then compared it to those who ate in radically different ones from myself and I came to my one preferred, completely scientifically untested( by me ) thesis that the best thing you can do for your health is eat more fiber.
You may be someone who perceives fiber rather negatively.
“It doesn’t taste good!”
“It has an awful texture!”
“It makes me fart!”
“It gives me diarrhea!”
It reminds you of All-Bran cereal when you were young and it took you too long to eat your bowl of cereal which left you with a pile of unappealing brownish colored sludge… YUM!
But these are all misconceptions for those of you who don’t know.
Fiber is a component of Carbohydrates. However, it isn’t a single substance, rather it’s a grouping of a variety of different compounds with affect the body in numerous ways. Fiber can’t be digested by the body’s enzymes and thus doesn’t count as a calorie. It isn’t digested by the body. Because of this, people used to think of it as a useless, as filler. However over the last 50 years, studies have started to show us its positive benefits.
It’s worth pointing out that one aspect of fiber which is inherently positive and doesn’t take a scientist to prove, is that it’s almost always a part of nutrient rich foods which are low in fat. Eating high fiber foods mostly means eating foods high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Fiber is mostly found in legumes, vegetables, fruit and grains. You don’t get any from meat…(i eat meat alright, i just think we eat too much of it for various reasons that i will explain in my future blog posts.. so come back and visit the site frequently!)
Fiber is good for some of the following reasons. As mentioned before it fills you up without actually being digested by the body which means it’s impossible to gain weight by eating too much fiber. It’s found in healthy foods. It fills your intestines up which slows the intake and breaking down of foods in the stomach which means your energy and nutrient intake is done more evenly. It reduces constipation, protects you from Colon and rectal cancer, heart disease(by reducing your bad cholesterol; yes there’s good cholesterol), obesity and finally helps those who suffer from diabetes.
It’s true that suddenly changing your diet to high quantities of fiber will most likely give you diarrhea, gas and bloating, so it’s best to add fiber to your diet slowly and let your body adjust to the changes.
Add a fruit per meal, choose whole foods, eat more vegetables and less meat.
It is recommended that the daily intact be between 25 to 50g for women and men. 50g is alot, but eating around 30 to 35g per day should be easy once you make the right food choices.
Extend your life! Eat fiber! (ahahah, is there some fiber interest group paying me for this!? haha)