Eating foods that are high in fiber is an important component of a healthy diet. People who base their diets on fatty meats and processed foods often don’t get the fiber they need to maintain good digestive health. To include enough high fiber foods in your diet means eating more homemade meals and fresh foods such as fruits and vegetables. With so many reasons to include high fiber foods in your diet, everyone can benefit from evaluating their diet choices to determine who they can work in more high fiber meals and snacks.
There are two types of dietary fiber to consider when planning your diet. Soluble fiber is fiber your body can digest; when consumed, soluble fiber is broken down into a thick, gel-like substance that fills the stomach and intestines. Soluble fiber is great for people who are trying to lose weight, because this form of fiber takes longer to digest while also filling more space within the stomach. People who eat foods rich in soluble fiber don’t need to eat as much to feel full.
The other type of fiber is insoluble fiber, and this kind of fiber can’t be digested by the body. Instead of being broken down into a gel substance, insoluble fiber breaks apart into many small, tiny flakes as it moves through the digestive system. As insoluble fiber works its way through the intestines, it serves as a catalyst for adding volume and mass to stool, while also raking clean the insides of the intestinal walls. People who have problems with constipation or irritable bowel issues can really benefit from a diet high in insoluble fiber.
When looking for high fiber foods to add to your diet, think about adding fresh, leafy vegetables or stringy fruits to your diet. Carrots, cabbage, squash and sweet potatoes are all examples of high fiber foods. Whole grain wheat and oat products are also high in fiber. Oatmeal is a great breakfast choice for people who need more fiber in their diets, and using fresh bread for sandwiches and snacks also helps. Many food manufacturers offer versions of their food products that have been fortified with additional fiber. On the other hand, stay away from fatty red meats, fast foods and processed foods if what you really need is a high fiber diet. These foods are much more likely to contribute to your dietary and digestive health issues rather than help.