Focus on Fiber: What it is & Why it’s Healthy

Let’s face it. In terms of eating healthy, fiber isn’t the most exciting nutrient out there. You’ve no doubt heard it’s beneficial to the digestive system, but given that January is National Fiber Focus Month, why not learn a little bit more?

What exactly is fiber?
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, fiber refers to carbohydrates that cannot be digested. Fiber is found in plants that are eaten for food such as grains, vegetables and fruit. There are two kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble, which are categorized by whether or not they dissolve in water.

Why is fiber good you?
Fiber provides multiple health benefits including helping to maintain a healthy weight as well as lowers the risk for certain chronic illnesses such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease. According to health professionals at the Mayo Clinic, adults need between 25-30 grams of fiber a day. Check with your doctor to discuss your personal needs.

How do I increase fiber intake?
–          Replace white bread and grains with whole wheat or whole grain breads, rice or cereals.

–          Eat whole fruits and vegetables instead of drinking fruit juice.

–          Add legumes in dishes like chili, soups or salads.

Sources:
Harvard School of Public Health
Mayo Clinic
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