Benefits of Dietary Fiber
A high-fiber diet has many benefits, which include:
- Normalizes bowel movements. Dietary fiber increases the weight and size of your stool and softens it. A bulky stool is easier to pass, decreasing your chance of constipation. If you have loose, watery stools, fiber may help to solidify the stool because it absorbs water and adds bulk to stool.
- Helps maintain bowel health. A high-fiber diet may lower your risk of developing hemorrhoids and small pouches in your colon (diverticular disease). Some fiber is fermented in the colon. Researchers are looking at how this may play a role in preventing diseases of the colon.
- Lowers cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber found in beans, oats, flaxseed and oat bran may help lower total blood cholesterol levels by lowering low-density lipoprotein, or "bad," cholesterol levels. Studies also have shown that high-fiber foods may have other heart-health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
- Helps control blood sugar levels. In people with diabetes, fiber — particularly soluble fiber — can slow the absorption of sugar and help improve blood sugar levels. A healthy diet that includes insoluble fiber may also reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Aids in achieving healthy weight. High-fiber foods tend to be more filling than low-fiber foods, so you're likely to eat less and stay satisfied longer. And high-fiber foods tend to take longer to eat and to be less "energy dense," which means they have fewer calories for the same volume of food.
It’s a simple fact that people aren’t eating enough whole grains, legumes, fruits, or vegetables—the main sources of dietary fiber. So it shouldn’t be surprising that the average intake of dietary fiber is pitifully low—only 15 g per day on average. In fact, dietary fiber is listed as a “nutrient of concern” in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans—along with potassium, calcium, and vitamin D—because intake is low enough to be a public health concern. The Adequate Intake for fiber is 14 g/1,000 kcal—25 g per day for women and 38 g per day for men, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.
supports to increase the intake of dietary fiber.