Dietary fibers, the indigestible component of foods such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains offers a host of health benefits. Fiber helps to soften stools, allowing solid waste to pass more quickly and easily through the digestive tract. The recommended daily intake of dietary fiber is 25 grams of fiber for women and 38 grams for men. Yet, most Americans consume less than half of this fiber intake. Most probably because these days most of the modern food is junk-food and many of us don’t have such a good intake of fibers.
Modern food is full of bigger, juicier, saltier, sweeter, crunchier. Most of all, more. The food industry and its nonstop marketing has been tabbed by many experts as a major player in the obesity epidemic. Above all that, the bad diets, bad food and all the bad knowledge about eating decrease our life range and what is worst affects our children future. Current fiber intakes are alarmingly low, with long-term implications for public health related to risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, certain gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, and the continuum of metabolic dysfunctions including prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
This post is about the results of constant exposure to foods that lack fibers and nutrients, thanks to GMO and food globalization; all diseases start actually from our brains and this is the main target of the food industry. Remember this any time you see ads about burgers, chips and pizza.
Have you ever seen an ad promoting fresh garden tomatoes?
The exposure to this environment that I like to call “eat more environment” has been driven people to a desire for salted-high-calorie food and become in a few years conditioned overeaters. Food industry looks like it takes this to the right direction by using campaigns to bring healthy products to school for example. Often this are just marketing ploys and many of the wellness pioneers and even doctors ask if these food companies really want to combat obesity and help people eat better.
Weight gain – what has fibers to do with this?
Fibers has a big contribution to satiety. This feeling is that state of comfortable fullness you get after a meal. If you don’t have that feeling it is more probably that you may be eating more than your body needs.
Hunger – is one of your body’s strongest and most beneficial stimuli that helps insure that you consume enough calories. However, it also works against you when you’re trying to lose weight. You could easily lose weight just by eating less, but the less that you eat or the longer you postpone eating, the hungrier you become.
So the hungrier you are, the more likely it is that you’ll overeat, consuming extra calories that can quickly slow or reverse your weight loss.
As you know, the only way to end hunger is to eat. Eating provides satiety – a pleasant feeling of fullness and the corresponding reduction of hunger.
Hunger and satiety
But did you know that some foods are better than others for satisfying your hunger? And this is where fibers enters the scene. For years, researchers have studied satiety, hunger and the influence different types of food have on hunger and weight. While many things are known to influence satiety – including individual differences in endocrine levels from one person to another – one of the biggest factors is the type of food that you eat. Some foods fill your stomach faster or remain in your stomach longer, and therefor you must focus on finding the best versions of meals that can keep you on track.A baked potato will probably fill you up much better than a chocolate bar. Click To Tweet
If we can find a way of predicting satiety, we’d be able to select foods that satisfy our hunger. We would be able to know the exact type of food and the needed calories. These foods would greatly improve our ability to create meals that are both effective on satiety and weight loss. Sounds good, right?
But, because of the strong relation between satiety and a certain food weight, some researchers have recommended the consumption of foods with low caloric densities. There are a lot of diets based on this theory and I am sure that you have heard of VLCDs (very low calorie diet). A very low calorie diet is any diet that involves eating around 800 calories a day or fewer. It should only be undertaken for 12 continuous weeks or intermittently – for example three days – along with normal diet.
If you’re trying to lose weight, eating good food full of nutrients(fibers, minerals, without salt or sugar) and being physically active are the key. In a few cases a very low calorie diet (VLCD) could be the right choice. But these should only be followed for a limited time, so talk to your GP before you start. Cutting calories significantly can cause health problems such as gallstones, heart problems and other issues associated with not getting the nutrition you need, such as anaemia. You get anaemia when you don’t have enough red blood cells. This makes it difficult for your blood to carry oxygen, causing unusual tiredness and other symptoms.
A more recent diet that makes use of low Caloric density foods is the Negative Calorie Diet. Included among these are the cabbage soup diet and the grapefruit diet. Unfortunately, caloric density alone is not a reliable predictor of satiety and it overlooks many enjoyable foods that would make wonderful additions to your diet.
Fullness factor and satiety
After studying the results of numerous satiety studies, NutritionData used an advanced multivariate analysis of the existing data to create a new mathematical formula that predicts satiety from the nutrient content of a given food or recipe. This formula yields a value that we call the Fullness Factor (FF):
FF values fall within the range of 0 to 5. Foods with high FF’s are more likely to satisfy your hunger with fewer calories. Foods with low FF’s are less likely to satisfy your hunger. You can check below some values of certain foods and their fullness factor.
Constipation – fiber related problem
Constipation can result from lack of fibers or liquids in your diet, but also from too little exercise and certain medications.
The most common cause of constipation is a diet low in fiber and high in fats. The bulk and soft texture of fiber help prevent hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass. Fiber is the part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that the body cannot digest. Keep in mind that many refined and processed foods we eat have the natural fiber removed.
Many seniors eat a low-fiber diet that causes constipation. Some lose interest in eating and choose convenience foods low in fiber. Others have difficulties chewing or swallowing; this leads them to eat soft processed foods low in fiber.
Lack of fiber in the diet was first postulated in 1971 as the cause of diseases such as hemorrhoids and colorectal cancer. Since then, partly due to widespread media publicity, it is now widely accepted that dietary fiber is a necessary component of a healthy diet and is required for normal bowel movement. It is popularly used in the management of constipation by many doctors. Fibers are said to aid in water retention in the colon and results in stools that are less dry and easier to evacuate.
Tips to get more fibers
Become a breakfast lover. Not only does it give you energy to start a new day, but breakfast is linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance. Eating breakfast is important for everyone, but is especially so for children and adolescents. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom and on the playground, with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.
Wake-up to a nutritious high-fiber breakfast. Protein-rich Greek yogurt with fiber-rich fruit, nuts, or cereal equals a seriously satisfying meal. Berries, granola, or sliced almonds are perfect parfait ingredients. You could also add sliced bananas, mangos, or pears. Scrambled eggs are protein-packed, but they’re not a good source of fiber. So use veggies like spinach, broccoli, artichoke, or avocado to fill your omelette.
Be a topper. While you enjoy cereals or a bagel don’t forget the fiber-filled toppers: bananas, blackberries or even hummus and avocado.
Lover of the labels. A good label will always say it’s “good source” of fiber if it contributes with 10% of your daily fiber intake. This is about 2.5 grams. So starting reading nexy time you go shopping.
Fruit Attacks. When you feel the urge for a snack, be sure you have fresh or dried fruit on hand for a quick bite. A half cup of fresh raspberries is packed with 4 grams of fiber, a papaya with 5.5 grams, and five rings of dried apples has almost 3 grams of fiber. Also you can always eat a banana or an avocado and some nuts with dried figs.
Peels Are a Plus. Get all the fiber from the fruits and vegetables you enjoy by leaving the peels on. If you’re worried about dirt and pesticides, rinse your produces in warm water before eating them. Remember, whole foods have more fiber than juices, which lack the fiber-filled skin and membranes.
The stealthy way.
- use spinach dip or hummus. They are good alternatives to ketchup or mayonnaise.
- top your home-made pizza with slices of tomato, red pepper and onion. Make a mix of garlic and basil for extra taste.
- put green lettuce in your sandwich and even a salad made from chopped carrots, fresh pepper and some lime juice.
- Sprinkle all kind of beans in soups, stews and salads a few times a week.
- cooking reduces food’s fiber so try to enjoy them raw.
- add some zucchini and carrots to your spaghetti sauce.
- try some exotic cuisines. Tabbouleh or asian stir fry is a good option
Including these foods in your diet is a simple way of increasing your fiber intake. By using these tips, your body will not only become a more stable environment, but it also become healthier.
What kind of fiber you like most? Feel free to leave below in the comment area what are your favorite morning meals and what kind of fiber foods you like most.