The Facts About Fiber, Carbs and a Balanced Diet

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Are you getting enough fiber in your diet? The answer is most likely no. But fiber, a complex carbohydrate, has a tremendous impact on digestion, along with several other health benefits.

If you have diabetes or are simply watching your diet, you need to pay attention to carbohydrates, which can affect your blood sugar level. But unlike simple carbohydrates such as potatoes, pasta and white rice, fiber actually helps control blood sugar and helps lower your bad cholesterol.

Below, you’ll learn how you can eat plenty of fiber while maintaining a low-carb diet.

What is fiber?

Fiber is a complex carbohydrate and is the part of plant food that cannot be digested by humans. It passes through our digestive systems without being broken down and absorbed into our bloodstreams as other food components are.

How is fiber beneficial for your diet?

The most prominent benefit of fiber is preventing constipation. But a high-fiber diet is also associated with lower risk for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. It maintains cholesterol levels and supports regularity while lowering cancer risk and helping people feel fuller so they eat less.

What’s the daily recommendation for fiber intake?

Recommendations for adults are between 25 and 40 grams per day. Twenty to 30 percent of a person’s total fiber intake should be soluble fiber.

Will cutting out carbs reduce my fiber intake?

Reduced carbohydrate diets are not necessarily low in fiber. Most low-sugar fruits and non-starchy vegetables are high in fiber and should be a part of your daily diet. The benefit of fruits and vegetables over grains is the water content. Grains are high in carbohydrates with almost no water, while fruits and vegetables have high water content. Water provides bulk and aids in feeling full for longer.

Which foods contain the most fiber?

Beans are known for their high fiber content — but there’s more where that came from. Fruits like apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, as well as dark-colored vegetables, all contain a good amount of fiber. When choosing carbs, opt for whole-grain ones like brown rice, oatmeal and whole-wheat flour. And don’t forget to pack your favorite seeds and nuts for a tasty and nutritious snack.

Want more information? Call MissionPoint Health Partners at 855-288-6747 or email us at members@missionpointhealth.org to learn how a Health Partner can work with you to improve your health.