Are your daily meals short on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains? If this is the case, then you might not be getting all the fiber you need, and this could contribute to some health risks. Men over 50 years are advised to eat at least eat 30 grams of fiber daily while women over 50 years are required to consume at least 21 grams per day. Also, men under 50 years need to have an intake of 38 grams a day while women under 50 years should consume a minimum of 25 grams each day. All the above recommendations are on the lower side meaning you can go as high as you want. However, for low fiber diets, these are the risks you should be aware of.
If you spend a lot of time waiting for a bowel movement, most likely you’re constipated. It’s characterized by fewer than three bowel movements per week, hard or dry stool, and pain having a bowel movement. This happens if you consume low fiber diets frequently.
Fiber absorbs water and swells, enhancing bulkiness inside the digestive tract. As a result, everything becomes soft and moves easily through the body. Whenever you increase your fiber intake, you should take more water, otherwise, constipation may become worse.
A low fiber diet is a perfect recipe for weight gain. Fiber contributes to satiety because of the swelling which means you’re less likely to overeat. Moreover, fiber-rich diets take more time to chew meaning you will eat less food per meal, according to the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension. You’re encouraged to ensure you meet the 25 to 35 grams of fiber intake daily. Remember, high fiber diets like fruits and vegetables have higher water content and low in calories qualifying to be healthy foods. Additionally, high fiber intake makes it easy for you to maintain or lose weight.
The National Cancer Institute reported that high fiber foods play a major role in preventing colorectal cancer. This is attributed to the positive effect that fiber has on digestion. Multiple fiber-rich foods are a good source of antioxidants, which guard the body against damage by harmful free radicals. However, having a low fiber diet is linked to an increased cancer rate. Aim at consuming more vegetables, fruits and high fiber foods to supply the body with vitamins and minerals that help boost the immune system.
Low fiber diet eaters risk developing an elevated cholesterol level. This is a serious condition that might require you to go through a surgical procedure to get rid of the excess fat. During digestion, the body naturally secrets bile acid that contains cholesterol from all body parts. A portion of this cholesterol is always reabsorbed into the body with other nutrients from food. However, if your body has enough fiber, it binds to bile acids and removes it and any cholesterol present. Consume more fiber and reduce your intake of saturated fat and cholesterol.
If your meal is always composed of high protein meals like eggs, meat, cheese and low on fiber, not only does it raise your cholesterol levels but also leave you nauseous, tired and weak. Ensure to boost your fiber intake with vitamin and mineral rich whole grains and cut back on fatty foods.
Blood Sugar Fluctuations
Diabetic individuals who have a hard time controlling their blood sugar levels should speak to their doctors immediately. It could be a sign that you’re not getting enough fiber to keep the blood sugar levels at par. Research says that fiber delays the absorption of sugar hence helping you control your blood sugar levels. Include high fiber foods like beans, peas, and brown rice to your diet and you can enjoy the benefits of having adequate fiber in the body. In case you’re thinking of changing your diabetes management plan, speak to your doctor first to avoid any adverse effects.
As seen, fiber is a powerhouse that helps you manage your weight, avoid disease and improve your digestion. But when you’re boosting your fiber intake you should consider taking it slow. You don’t want to have stomach cramps, gas, bloating or diarrhea due to too much fiber consumption. Eat a few grams of fiber at a time and allow them to be digested. Don’t forget to drink a minimum of two litters of water a day. Nevertheless, if you feel pain or it becomes difficult for you to eat due to constipation, it’s important you seek medical attention. Practice eating a varied diet containing all the essential nutrients and enough calories to maintain energy levels.
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