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High fiber diet

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Author: Daria Rusakova, MD, PhD, Researcher at the Clinic of the Federal State Budget Scientific Institution Nutrition Research Institute, Scientific Consultant at the Nutrition and Health Clinic

Dietary fiber refers to carbohydrates, but they are resistant to digestion and are not absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract. Dietary fibers contribute to the mechanical filling of the stomach, since under the action of water they swell, increasing in size. Thus, daily consumption of fiber prevents overeating. Dietary fiber also helps to stimulate peristalsis. Forming a dense mass, they help to accelerate the passage of digested food along the intestinal tract, and also help to eliminate toxins from the body. Perhaps each of us knows how important it is for the body to have a balanced diet and optimal calorie content. However, when compiling their daily diet and diligently calculating BJ, many forget about such an important component as dietary fiber (otherwise fiber, indigestible or indigestible carbohydrates). Why are dietary fibers so useful for the body?

The physiological effects of dietary fiber support the normal microflora and peristalsis of the large intestine and play an important role in the prevention of diseases such as atherosclerosis, cancer and diabetes mellitus.

Soluble

  • Pectins are polysaccharides contained in the middle layer of plant cells, as well as in the primary cell walls of the fruit.
  • Mucus is a polysaccharide that contains amino sugar-hexosamines.
  • Gums are polymers of various monosaccharides (glucose, galactose, arabinose, etc.).
  • Inulin is a polysaccharide, a polymer of D-fructose.

What is the dietary fiber intake?

Dietary fibers do not give energy to the body, like proteins, fats or carbohydrates. But their daily use is mandatory for the normal functioning of the digestive tract and maintaining the health of the body.

For normal bowel function, according to WHO recommendations, you need to consume 25 g of dietary fiber per day. To do this, you need to include in your diet a variety of plant products. The main sources of dietary fiber are cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruits. Whole grain and bread from it contain much more dietary fiber than bread from premium flour. Dietary fiber is not found in animal foods - meat, milk, fish and eggs.

Interesting fact!

Cellulose and hemicelluloses form the cell walls of fruit and vegetable pulp, seeds, seeds and peel.

What is the dietary fiber intake?

Dietary fibers do not give energy to the body, like proteins, fats or carbohydrates. But their daily use is mandatory for the normal functioning of the digestive tract and maintaining the health of the body.

For normal bowel function, according to WHO recommendations, you need to consume 25 g of dietary fiber per day. To do this, you need to include in your diet a variety of plant products. The main sources of dietary fiber are cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruits. Whole grain and bread from it contain much more dietary fiber than bread from premium flour. Dietary fiber is not found in animal foods - meat, milk, fish and eggs.

Interesting fact!

Black and white bread have approximately the same number of calories, but their fiber content is different. The whiter the bread, the more it is cleared of bran and the less fiber in it.

The Importance of Dietary Fiber

Fiber has a number of useful properties that make its use especially important for those who want to lose weight.

  • Foods rich in dietary fiber are usually less high in calories, low in fat, and many vitamins and minerals.
  • Dietary fibers require chewing and create volume, which allows you to control the feeling of hunger and satiety.
  • Fiber lowers cholesterol and normalizes blood sugar.
  • Accelerating intestinal motility, dietary fiber removes toxins from the body, and also reduce the rate of fat absorption.

However, it should be remembered that a sharp increase in the amount of fiber in the diet contributes to flatulence, bloating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. If you do not follow the drinking regime, then constipation can occur. Therefore, the use of at least two liters of liquid per day is mandatory. An important note: fiber can react with certain drugs, so if you decide to dramatically increase its intake, then a doctor’s consultation is required.

Step 4. Buy dietary fiber supplements from your pharmacy.

In everyday life, for various reasons, it is not always possible to organize a diet high in fiber. For example, during the holidays or at a party, you may not want to eat mainly plant foods.

Also, in a number of cases (for example, food in the dining room or if someone else is cooking at home), people cannot decide for themselves what they will eat.

In such situations, knowing that you are not able to regularly get the required amount of fiber with food, you can use dietary supplements with plant fibers. Such additives can be bought at the pharmacy. Usually they are inexpensive.

Despite the fact that dietary supplements with plant fiber do not have all the benefits of a healthy diet based on vegetables, fruits and cereals, they can be very effective in maintaining normal stool consistency and treating / preventing constipation.

What should I look for when switching to a diet high in fiber?

Despite the fact that animal products (meat, eggs, fish, dairy products) do not contain dietary fiber, planning a diet enriched with vegetable products cannot completely exclude them from the diet (if you do not know how to organize a vegetarian diet).

It is most reasonable to combine vegetable and animal products (for example, meat with a side dish of buckwheat, fried eggs with a salad of fresh vegetables).

Do not abuse vegetable fiber!

After becoming acquainted with the role of plant fiber in the body and the benefits of a diet rich in fiber, some people begin to consume excessively large amounts of fiber-rich foods. It may be dangerous.

Consuming too much fiber, especially if there is insufficient fluid intake, can cause very severe constipation. In addition, excessive fiber intake can cause diarrhea and bloating.

What is dietary fiber?

Dietary fiber, or fiber, refers to carbohydrates in plants that your body cannot digest.

Once the dietary fibers reach your colon, they are either broken down by the bacteria in the intestines or left the body with feces (2).

There are two main types of dietary fiber - soluble and insoluble. Most foods that are high in fiber contain a combination of them, but they are usually richer in one type (3, 4).

In the intestines, soluble dietary fibers absorb water and become gel-like. This allows your intestinal bacteria to break down them easily. Chia seeds and oats are rich in soluble dietary fiber (2, 5, 6).

In contrast, insoluble dietary fiber has a more rigid microscopic structure and does not absorb water. Instead, they add volume to the feces. Fruits and vegetables contain a large amount of insoluble dietary fiber (1, 4).

You should try to eat 14 grams of dietary fiber for every 1000 calories you consume per day. This is about 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Unfortunately, only about 5% of people reach this recommended amount (7).

Insufficient fiber can negatively affect your health. For example, a diet low in fiber has been associated with digestive problems, such as constipation and dysbiosis, which is an abnormal growth of harmful bacteria in the intestines (8, 9, 10).

Low-fiber diets are also associated with an increased risk of obesity, colon cancer, and breast cancer (11, 12, 13).

Dietary fiber, also known as fiber, refers to carbohydrates that your body cannot digest. Most people do not eat enough fiber. The recommendations suggest that women should consume about 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should consume 38 grams.

Health Benefits of Dietary Fiber

You may have heard that adding fiber to your diet can improve the health of your digestive tract.

Indeed, dietary fiber has many beneficial effects on your intestines, such as increasing stool, decreasing constipation, and eating healthy intestinal bacteria.

High fiber foods are also richer in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than low fiber foods such as refined grains. In addition, they can even help you lose weight (14).

Improves digestion and intestinal health

Dietary fibers play many different roles in intestinal health.

Insoluble fiber helps relieve constipation by adding bulk to the feces, while a gel-like consistency of soluble fiber makes it easier to move food through the digestive tract (15).

One study of more than 62,000 women found that those who ate at least 20 grams of dietary fiber per day were much less likely to experience constipation than those who ate only 7 grams or less per day (16).

Another study of 51 people examined the effects of fiber on constipation. Every day for 3 weeks, participants ate 240 grams of bread - rye or white. Rye bread contained 30 grams of fiber, while white bread contained 10 grams.

Compared to the white bread group, the rye bread group experienced 23% faster stool transit time, 1.4 more bowel movements per week, and softer stools that were easier (17).

Dietary fiber also acts as a prebiotic that feeds the beneficial probiotic bacteria in your gut, allowing them to thrive and limit the growth of harmful bacteria.

Prebiotics in dietary fiber can also reduce the risk of colon cancer, promoting healthy intestinal motility and strengthening the layer of tissue lining the intestines (18).

Helps control body weight.

Eating fiber can also help you reach your target body weight and maintain a healthy weight.

In one study, 28 adults increased their fiber intake from 16 to 28 grams per day. They followed one of two high-fiber diets daily for four weeks — consuming either 320 grams of beans or a combination of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

On both high fiber diets, participants ate about 300 calories less per day and lost an average of about 1.4 kg. At the same time, they reported higher levels of satiety and lower levels of hunger than before a diet high in fiber (19).

Eating more fiber can also increase your metabolic rate at rest - that is, the number of calories you burn at rest.

A 6-week study of 81 adults showed that those who had a diet of about 40 grams of fiber per day had a higher metabolic rate and burned 92 more calories per day than those who did. nutrition with only 21 grams of fiber per day (20).

In addition, many high fiber foods, such as whole fruits and vegetables, are low in calories. Try to eat more of these foods to feel full and satisfied. They will help maintain a low calorie intake, which can contribute to weight loss.

May Benefit in Blood Sugar Control

Foods high in fiber help slow down digestion, which can help stabilize blood sugar by slowing the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream (21, 22).

In fact, some studies have shown that fiber can help regulate blood sugar and insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone that helps transport the sugar in your blood to your cells and tells your body to burn it for energy or store it in the form of fat (23).

Maintaining moderate blood sugar levels is very important, as spikes in blood sugar levels can damage your body over time and lead to diseases like diabetes (24).

One study of 19 people with type 2 diabetes studied the effects of eating high fiber breakfast on blood sugar.

Those who ate a high fiber breakfast that included 9–10 grams of fiber had significantly lower blood sugar after eating than those who ate a low fiber breakfast containing only 2-3 grams (25 )

Moreover, a study of 20 overweight adults showed that those who consumed at least 8 grams of dietary fiber for breakfast had lower post-meal insulin levels (24).

Keeping insulin low can also help you lose weight by reducing the amount of calories your body stores as fat (26).

May lower cholesterol and blood pressure

Dietary fiber can help lower high cholesterol and blood pressure, which are risk factors for heart disease.

In one of the 28-day studies involving 80 people with high cholesterol, the effects of fiber intake beneficial for the heart were studied.

Researchers observed that people who ate 3 grams of soluble fiber from oats daily experienced a 62% decrease in total cholesterol and a 65% decrease in LDL cholesterol compared to the control group (6).

In another 4-week study, 345 people consumed 3-4 grams of beta-glucan, a soluble dietary fiber found in oats, daily. In this group, there was a significant decrease in LDL cholesterol (bad) compared with the control group (27).

In addition, eating fiber can lower your blood pressure.

A review of 28 studies showed that people whose diets included higher levels of beta-glucan - such as the dietary fiber found in oats - had lower blood pressure than people who had low amounts of fiber in their diets (28).

To date, most studies of dietary fiber and blood pressure have focused on the effects of dietary supplements rather than dietary fiber. In this regard, additional studies are needed (28, 29, 30).

Dietary fiber has many beneficial properties. Their use helps to improve digestion and promotes intestinal health. They can also reduce certain risk factors for heart disease and help you control your weight and blood sugar.

Dietary fiber rich foods

Dietary fiber (fiber) is found in almost all plant foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.

However, some of these foods naturally contain more dietary fiber than others. Here are some of the best sources of dietary fiber:

  • Chia seeds: 10 grams per 30 gram serving (2 tablespoons) (31)
  • Lentils: 8 grams per 100 gram serving (32)
  • Black bean: 8 grams per 90 gram serving (33)
  • Moon beans: 7 grams per 92 gram serving (34)
  • Chickpeas: 7 grams per 80 gram serving (35)
  • Wheat bran: 6 grams per 15 gram serving (36)
  • Red beans: 6 grams per 125 gram serving (37)
  • Flax seeds: 6 grams per 20 gram serving (2 tablespoons) (38)
  • Pears: 6 grams per medium (180 grams) pear (39)
  • Avocado: 5 grams per 1/2 avocado (70 grams) (40)
  • Oats: 4 grams per 40 grams of raw oats (41)
  • The apples: 4 grams per average (180 grams) apple (42)
  • Raspberries: 4 grams per 60 gram serving (43)
  • Quinoa: 3 grams per 93 gram serving (44)
  • Almond: 3 grams per 30 gram serving (45)
  • Green bean: 3 grams per 100 gram serving (46)
  • Corn: 3 grams per 1 large corncob (140 grams) (47)

These foods are especially rich in dietary fiber, but many other whole foods can also help you increase their intake.

The simple desire to include more vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains in your diet is a great way to increase your fiber intake and improve overall well-being.

Almost all plant foods contain dietary fiber. Beans, lentils, wheat bran, pears, chia and flax seeds are some of the best sources.

Dietary fiber plays an important role in losing weight. Do we all know about fiber? Truth and myths about dietary fiber!

How useful are dietary fiber actually?

Яблоки, крупы и орехи содержат много клетчатки, но так ли это действительно полезно, как все об говорят?
Есть много мифов о клетчатке, но какие из них верны?

Растительные волокна из листьев, стеблей и корней или внешних слоев зерновых злаков и фруктов — все это клетчатка.

  • Their chemical structure is similar to the chemical structure of carbohydrates, but unlike them, they cannot be completely digested.
  • They are useful because they bind water. And this speeds up bowel movements - the contact time of toxic substances with the intestinal wall becomes much shorter.
  • Often, fibers are even considered prebiotics, which serve benign intestinal bacteria as food.

MYTH 1: All fibers are the same

There are 2 types of fibers.
One side, prebiotics, such as - inulin, from vegetables, or pectins from apples and citrus fruits - which are water-soluble fiber. They swell in the intestines.
This helps those people who do not have regular bowel movements.
These fibers are almost completely processed by the intestinal flora and have a positive effect on blood sugar and cholesterol.
On the other handThere are also water-insoluble fibers, such as cellulose or lignin from the outer layers of cereal grains, which, due to their coarser structure, hardly bind water or are processed by bacteria, so that their digestion is less.

MYTH 2: Fiber Has No Calories

But chemical bonds insoluble the fibers are so strong that the body cannot break them down, and therefore they actually have zero calories.
On the contrary soluble fiber it is fermented by intestinal bacteria into short chain fatty acids and thus supplies energy.
The average calorific value of dietary fiber is 2 to 3 calories per gram. This amount is too small to get better!
Fatty acids are beneficial: they support the barrier function of the intestinal wall, as well as the renewal of cells in the intestinal mucosa. In addition, they prevent inflammation and have a positive effect on the metabolism of fats and sugars.

MYTH 3: Fiber Helps Lose Weight

Only the process of bacterial fermentation of dietary fiber in the colon will not help to lose weight, but a high fiber content can still help in losing excess weight.
Foods high in fiber require a longer chewing process, so saturation starts sooner than you overeat.
Fiber saturates better and longer.
In addition, some dietary fiber stimulates the release of the hormone responsible for the feeling of fullness, cholecystokinin.

MYTH 4: Dietary fiber is always natural

Fibers are being added to more and more products. What about yogurt that supports healthy intestinal flora? Or with a fiber-rich cereal bar that improves digestion? - Such advertising slogans and applications were banned by the European Food Safety Organization in May 2012, as manufacturers could not demonstrate the prebiotic effect of such products.
Soluble fibers, such as oligofructose and inulin, add food to the food industry not out of love for humanity, but mainly because of technological advantages. Especially in products with reduced calorie content, they improve the consistency, increase weight and become slightly sweet, without a characteristic aftertaste. They are usually extracted from chicory root, therefore they are of natural origin, but processed in an industrial process.

MYTH 5: Fiber Must Be Added

Do you want to use fiber as a dietary supplement to offset the intake of unhealthy foods? - It is not right!
It is better to choose a Mediterranean diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and reduce the consumption of meat, especially red meat.
This allows you to restructure the composition of intestinal bacteria within 2 to 3 weeks!
Consuming fiber, for example, in the form of psyllium husks (flour from bran plantain bran), makes sense only if you are prone to constipation.

Read on how to deal with constipation with home remedies.

MYTH 7: The More Fibers, the Better

German Nutrition Society recommends 30 grams fiber daily.

  • 7 slices of whole grain bread,
  • 10 apples
  • or 600 grams of peas.

This is not to be eaten as part of any diet. Thus, the risk of consuming too much fiber is fairly low.
If you consume too much fiber, there is an increase in gas formation in the digestive tract, pain and cramps, or damage to the mucous membrane.
The best strategy: buy products and cook yourself - so you can easily achieve the ideal amount of fiber in your menu.

I. Cereals with a lot of fiber

Flax-seed

One tablespoon of flaxseed = 6 g fiber.
Flax seed binds water and provides a long-lasting feeling of satiety. Flaxseed is considered a miracle cure for constipation!

Tip . Flaxseed should be ground before use.

Quinoa

One serving of quinoa (50 g) = 3.5 g of fiber.
Quinoa is not only a good source of dietary fiber, but also contributes to muscle growth.
It contains a lot of high quality vegetable protein and is therefore suitable for vegetarians. In addition, quinoa grains contain large amounts of magnesium and lysine.

Bulgur

One serving of bulgur (80 g) = 7 g of fiber.
Bulgur is nothing but pre-steamed, partially peeled and crushed wheat. Thanks to its soft processing, bulgut still contains valuable wheat germ - and is therefore rich in vitamins, iron and minerals.

Muesli (with nuts)

One serving of muesli (50 g) = average 5 g of fiber.
In prepared dishes, unnecessary calories and sugars are often hidden, so it is recommended to mix muesli on your own. There are all kinds of cereal in the supermarket. Add some nuts of your choice or a spoonful of flaxseed and you're done.

Wholemeal rye bread

Two slices of whole grain rye bread = 8 g of fiber.
2 slices of whole grain rye bread and with a spread of cottage cheese with tomatoes and onions or slices of ham - you can already replenish the daily requirement with fibers in the morning.

Wholemeal Pasta

One serving of whole wheat pasta (300 g) = 16 g of fiber.
And did you think that pasta contains only carbohydrates? Wrong…
Whole wheat noodles contain no less calories than regular pasta, but in terms of fiber and protein, whole wheat noodles clearly have an advantage.

Wheat germ

One tablespoon of wheat germ (10 g) = 2 g of fiber.
Wheat germ can be added to different dishes, for example, sprinkled with granola. In addition to dietary fiber, wheat germ also contains high-quality vegetable protein, many B vitamins, vitamin E and a large amount of zinc and magnesium.

II. High fiber vegetables

Peas

Serving of peas (200 g) = 10 g of fiber.

Green peas

Serving of peas in pods (200 grams) = 10 g of fiber.
Peas can be eaten with a pod; it has a particularly high sugar content. Sugar peas are also rich in proteins, carbohydrates and fiber.

Kale cabbage

One serving of cabbage (200 g) = 8 g of fiber.
Kale has the highest amount of protein and carbohydrates from all varieties of cabbage.
And the mineral and vitamin combination is also impressive: potassium, calcium and iron, as well as B vitamins, vitamin C and vitamin E.

Brussels sprouts

One serving of Brussels sprouts (200 g) = 9 g of fiber.
No brussels sprouts? Not a problem: what kind of cabbage on your plate, in principle, does not matter, because all types of cabbage have an arsenal of valuable ingredients, including dietary fiber.

Sauerkraut

Serving of sauerkraut (200 g) = 7 g of fiber.
Sauerkraut is doubly useful!
Fiber saturates and provides controlled intestinal motility for a long time. Lactic acid bacteria also have a probiotic effect, stabilizing the intestinal flora, protecting beneficial intestinal bacteria and fighting harmful ones.

Artichokes

A portion of fresh (!) Artichoke (100 g) = 11 g fiber.
In addition, artichokes are not only rich in fiber, the artichoke provides a 12 percent reduction in cholesterol. In addition, the liver and gall bladder profit from beneficial substances in the artichoke.

Jerusalem artichoke

Serving of Jerusalem artichoke (150 grams) = 19 grams of fiber.
An exotic tuber has a soluble fiber, such as inulin: it swells in the stomach and intestines, binding a lot of water and thereby making you full. Like all dietary fiber, inulin is composed of many sugar molecules, but they do not break down and therefore cannot be absorbed like calories in the body.

Eggplant

A portion of eggplant (200 g) = 6 g of fiber.
Eggplants are also extremely low-calorie, and you can cook many delicious dishes from them!

III. Legumes with a lot of fiber

Beans

A portion of beans from a can (125 g) = 7 g of fiber.
Canned food is useless? - Nope! Canned vegetables such as beans (without sauce) should always be in the pantry. They contain carbohydrates, protein and fiber.

Lentils

Serving of lentils (60 g, dry product) = average about 10 g of fiber.
Lentils contain not only fiber, but also a lot of protein, few fats, and also a lot of B vitamins and zinc.

Chickpeas

Per serving of canned chickpeas (125 g) = about 9 g of fiber.
Chickpeas are high in vegetable protein, which is especially useful for vegetarians and vegans.

IV. Mushrooms with a lot of fiber

White mushrooms

One serving of porcini mushrooms (150 grams) = 9 g of fiber.
Mushrooms are also excellent fiber suppliers. But be careful: in a fiber-rich diet, fluid intake should be increased because the fiber swells in the intestine and thereby deprives the body of water.

V. Fruits with a lot of fiber

Raspberries

Per serving of raspberries (125 grams) = 6 g of fiber.
Raspberries contain a lot of fiber, but also a lot of carotenoids and polyphenols, which protect the body from harmful effects as antioxidants.

Pears

Pear = 5 g of fiber.
Those who eat a pear do it right, first of all, because of lignin. Lignin is a fiber that helps in breaking down cholesterol in the intestines. The substance lowers the level of “bad” LDL cholesterol. Other foods that contain a lot of lignin are linen or psyllium.

Of course, there are a lot more high fiber foods. We continue the story about them in other articles.

Alimentary fiber Undoubtedly useful, just follow the tips.

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