Fiber is essential in the daily diet. Know the nutritional information, functions and benefits that fiber gives you.
Although dietary fiber is an isolated food because it is considered neither a macronutrient nor a micronutrient (vitamins and minerals), without a doubt it is very essential for our body. For that simple reason below I will talk about the nutritional information, functions and benefits of fiber:
- Fiber helps digestion by causing nutrients to be absorbed little by little.
- It also helps our body to eliminate waste from the body.
- It provides us with energy (although much less than other nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats). The energy that is provided by the fiber is 2kcal / gram, although we must also remember that insoluble fiber does not provide Kcal.
- Control calorie intake because it causes a feeling of satiety. This is because the fiber retains water, especially soluble fiber. It increases volume in the stomach and makes us feel satisfied.
- Fiber can increase blood glucose levels because it slows the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.
The different types of fibers
Dietary or soluble fiber
Dietary or soluble fiber is formed by a carbohydrate bound to ligin. Ligine is a natural substance that is part of the cell wall of many plant cells, which provides resistance and hardness. It has the function of keeping together the cellulose fibers that form the plant tissues.
This is the fiber that is not digested by the body and that is not used for energy, but helps to eliminate waste. It also reduces LDL, maintains the feeling of satiety and maintains weight. You can get it from fruits, vegetables, lentils and oatmeal.
This type of fiber is formed by carbohydrates that are not digested, it acts by stabilizing blood sugar levels. Functional fiber can be obtained from animal or plant sources.
Insoluble fiber also passes through the body without being digested, prevents constipation because it helps digest food by making it pass through the stomach and intestines at a better speed. It can have a laxative effect and does not provide Kcal.
Among the benefits of soluble fiber we can highlight:
- Regulate calorie intake
- Reduces the risk of suffering from different heart diseases
This type of fiber can be obtained in some sources such as nuts, seeds, fruit seeds, wheat bran and vegetables.
Daily fiber requirements
Although you probably didn’t know, daily fiber requirements vary depending on sex:
- Women should consume 25g a day
- Men should consume 38g a day
When you consume larger amounts than those mentioned above it will not show better benefits, although in fact the excess fiber can cause gas and stomach bloating.
Tips when consuming fiber
- So you can get the fiber that is present in fruits or vegetables, it is recommended that you consume them whole to preserve all the nutrients they can provide us.
- Fiber is present in whole grain foods, which means in whole foods.
- Excess fiber does not bring anything good, it can cause gas and stomach bloating, besides we have to be careful with the laxative effect of insoluble fiber.
Benefits of consuming fiber
- Fiber consumption prevents diseases related to the digestive system.
- It helps keep the digestive system healthy.
- Fiber reduces LDL (bad cholesterol) because it decreases its absorption. This is because at the time of digestion the fiber retains cholesterol, which will be removed later.
- It helps prevent colon cancer.
- It has advantages for heart disease and diabetes.
- It helps control body weight.