We often hear that fiber is an important part of our diet, but many of us don’t know what it actually is or what it means for our bodies. Fiber, often referred to as dietary fiber, is a type of carb (carbohydrate) essential for the body. It is a special type of carb as it cannot be broken down by the body, meaning it does not break down into sugar molecules. This means that fiber goes through our body undigested, which helps regulate sugar levels within our body. This helps keep hunger at bay and blood sugar stable. It can also decrease the chance of weight gain as foods that are high in fiber are often low in calories. There are two types of fiber that have different benefits. Soluble fiber is the first, which helps lower glucose levels and can help lower cholesterol levels (this can be found in fruit, oatmeal, nuts, beans, and lentils). Insoluble fiber is the second, which helps regulate the digestive system (found in whole wheat, rice, legumes, vegetables, and couscous). Harvard’s School of Public Health states that the best sources of fiber are whole grains, fruits and vegetables, legumes, and nuts. It’s been found that eating foods that are high in fiber regularly can even decrease the risks for certain cancers, such as colon cancer. Overall, fiber is a very important part of our diet and should be incorporated in combination with plenty of water and other nutrient-filled foods!
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