6 High Fiber Foods

Fiber is an important part of a balanced diet. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest. There are two types of fiber. Soluble fiber can help lower cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, increased fiber intake can reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol levels. Fiber helps to regulate the body’s sugar. Therefore, fiber is recommended to help keep hunger and blood sugar at bay.

This makes fiber a vital element to weight loss. High fiber foods tend to be low in calories and fat, making them an excellent choice for those who wish to lose weight. Not only will high fiber foods aid in weight loss, but they will aid in maintaining that healthy weight over time. Insoluble fiber is beneficial to digestive health as it can aid in relieving constipation.

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A high fiber diet is key to keeping a healthy digestive system. Studies show that fiber can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Also, it can increase the bioavailability of minerals like calcium in the foods you eat, which may help maintain bone density. Some scientists believe that a high fiber diet may have anti-cancer benefits as well. Men need at least 30 to 38 grams of fiber each day. Women need at least 20 to 25 grams of fiber each day. Dietary fiber is found mostly in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Adding delicious sources of fiber to make up a balanced diet is easy to do. Here are some high fiber foods that can be added to any diet:

1. Lentils

Lentils are believed to be one of the first foods ever cultivated by humans. They are high in fiber, while low in fat and calories. One cup of cooked lentils provides more than 15 grams of dietary fiber. This is about 50-75% of your daily need of fiber. They are low in calories with almost no fat, making them a great addition to any diet. Not only do lentils have a lot of fiber, they are also a good source of protein. This makes them a good choice to add to vegetarian or vegan meals. Replacing meat with lentils in a meal may be a way of getting the recommended daily amount of fiber.

Another health benefit to lentils is that contain a lot of iron, which helps to keep energy levels up. There are four main types of lentils – brown, French green, black and red. Brown lentils are the most common in North America and have the most amount of fiber per cup. They can easily be added to any meal. Lentils are versatile and easy to prepare. There are a plethora of recipes available to utilize this healthy food. They can be added in soups, curry, salads, burritos, chili, or quinoa. They can even be added as a side to complete any lunch or dinner.