Eating a high fiber diet is an important step to achieving a healthy lifestyle. There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber can be disolved in water and acts by slowing down digestion. It helps you feel full for longer and can also reduce bad cholesterol. Insoluble fiber cannot be disolved and remains intact through the digestive process. It has a laxative effect and can help relieve constipation. Both types of fiber are equally important in your diet.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that the average woman should eat 25 grams of fiber, and the average man should eat 35 grams. If you are looking to lower your cholesterol, consider eating extra soluble fiber above and beyond the daily recommendations. Always try to get your daily fiber through the consumption of natural foods. While fiber supplements are convenient, they may not be as beneficial to the body when compared to their natural counterparts.
When adding fiber to your diet, start slowly. Eating more fiber than you are used to can lead to bloating, gas, and cramping. These unpleasant side effects go away with regular consumption.
Thankfully it’s easy to get your daily fiber amount with delicious foods. Here are 15 great ways to add fiber to your diet.
1. Eat “Whole” Foods
Buying bread can be a challenge when you’re looking for high fiber. Multi-grain varieties sound healthy, but they can be over processed and lacking fiber. Instead, search for breads with “whole grain” or “whole wheat” on the label. They will be less refined and higher in fiber and other vitamins. If in doubt, check the labels to find the best variety for you.