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The best high-fibre snack foods: You undoubtedly already know the health benefits of Fiber, but you probably don’t consume enough of it. According to research from 2020, most of us would benefit from consuming 50% more Fiber.
According to research, food—particularly Fiber—is medicine and may provide advantages, including a lower risk of cancer, heart disease, and other conditions. You know you should increase your fibre consumption, but how should you do it? Learn which foods are high in Fiber and how to include more in your diet by reading about them.
Fiber: What Is It?
According to Brooklyn, New York-based registered dietitian nutritionist Rachel Goodman, Fiber is a nutrient in plant-based diets. Although Fiber is a carbohydrate, it differs from other carbohydrates because “unlike other carbohydrates, it can’t be broken down and digested by the human body and leaves the body relatively intact,” according to Goodman.
Soluble and insoluble Fiber are the two primary types. She claims that both are advantageous and essential for achieving good health.
According to Sheena Patel Swanner, head of nutrition programs at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), there are significant distinctions between the two forms of Fiber. Soluble Fiber dissolves in water and solidifies in the digestive system to aid in slowing digestion. Contrarily, insoluble Fiber doesn’t dissolve in water; instead, it gives stools more volume to fend against constipation. According to her, Both are crucial and must be included in your diet.
Both forms of Fiber are often present in meals. However, you may find more soluble Fiber in oats, beans, and fruits, while insoluble Fiber is typically more prevalent in things like veggies and other whole grains.
Fiber’s Health Benefits
A diet high in Fiber has various advantages. Swanner emphasizes that a high-fibre diet may help lower your chances of developing cancer. According to the most recent scientific study from AICR, there is a 7% reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer for every 10 grams more of dietary Fiber consumed. The most recent AICR study also included convincing evidence that consuming 90 grams (or 3 ounces) of whole grains per day may help lower the risk of colorectal cancer by 17%, and drinking more may further reduce that risk. A meta-analysis conducted in 2020 discovered a link between fibre consumption and a lower risk of breast cancer.
Numerous additional health advantages of Fiber are also present. “Fiber helps improve and maintain gut health by promoting the growth of healthy bacteria and strengthening the walls of your digestive tract for optimal function,” explains Goodman. It also facilitates regular bowel motions, contributing to gut health.
According to Goodman, having soluble Fiber in your meals and snacks also makes you feel fuller for longer, balances blood sugar levels, and benefits heart health by reducing total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
In fact, according to a study from 2020, consuming much Fiber may help lower one’s chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, and several gastrointestinal illnesses. A healthy fibre intake is also linked to decreased rates of dyslipidemia, which is thought to be responsible for more than half of all occurrences of ischemic heart disease (narrowed arteries that may cause a heart attack) worldwide.
What Amount of Fiber Should You Eat?
According to Swanner, adults should strive for at least 30 grams of Fiber daily to fully benefit from Fiber’s cancer-preventing properties. She advises, “Don’t be intimidated by the figures since U.S. people generally need to raise their daily fibre intake by 12 to 15 grams.
She said, “Start where you are.” Include fibre-rich foods in your meals and snacks as an excellent starting point. Swanner advises beginning the week with Meatless Monday and continuing to have fibre-rich meals throughout the week by adding berries to your cereal, switching from white rice to brown rice, and omitting the meat from chilli to favour black beans or lentils.
Fibre-Rich Meals and Snacks
Add the following items to your basket the next time you go grocery shopping for an additional fibre boost.
One of Swanner’s favourite crunchy lunchtime snacks is almonds. A 2018 metastudy found that eating almonds may lower LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) while maintaining HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). Swanner advises adding slivered almonds to quinoa or brown rice to boost your meal’s nutritional value and texture. A handful of 23 almonds, or one ounce, has 3.5 grams of Fiber.
According to research[5,] popcorn is a fantastic source of antioxidants and a great flavour. “I like adding a dash of turmeric, pepper, and salt for a fun flavour boost,” adds Swanner. Additionally, air popping provides all the taste and nutrition without the need for additional fats like butter. Popcorn that has been air-popped has 3.5 grams of Fiber per cup.
Because of their adaptability, avocados are a fantastic food to have on hand, according to Swanner. “You can cut one up and toss it with cucumbers and tomatoes for a fresh salad,” she advises. “You can mash one with a fork and spread it on toasted whole-grain bread.” The amount of Fiber in a typical California avocado is about 9 grams.
Broccoli is a powerful source of Fiber, cancer-fighting phytonutrients, and antioxidants that are good for your health. Swanner advises roasting it in the oven with salt, pepper, and olive oil as a side dish. Any leftovers may be chopped and used for scrambled eggs or homemade pizza. Two grams of Fiber are present in one cup of raw broccoli.
Can Fiber Be Consumed Too Much?
It’s crucial to understand that evidence suggests a high-fibre diet promotes lifespan and optimal health, but Goodman points out that concentrating on statistics may be stressful for many individuals. “While it’s important to be aware of fibre sources and amounts, I recommend a much more sustainable and enjoyable way to get more fibre instead of focusing on serving sizes and grams.” Try to include high-fibre foods in your favourite recipes and pay attention to how your body responds. “Your body will likely be getting enough fibre if it feels energized, has regular bowel movements, and has stable blood sugar levels,” the expert advises.
“Too much of anything isn’t good for us,” asserts Goodman. Constipation, bloating, or overall digestive pain may result from consuming too much Fiber or increasing your consumption. She advises adopting a progressive strategy and ensuring that all the food categories are included in your eating plan if you are serious about concentrating on Fiber. “Health is not the be-all and end-all. The key is balance, she advises.