How to incorporate Fiber in the Daily Diet
The main source of the essential fiber that the human body needs is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates include all substances that are classified as sugars and starches, and fibers are a component that they contain. Chemically fiber is cellulose. It is a sticky component present in foods that is important for passing out roughage. When we eat foods, especially plant foods, a large part of them is undigested. This part is the cellulose or fiber. Being sticky, it can stick the other undigested matter left behind as byproducts of digestion and take them out of the body. That is the reason fiber is so important. It can remove undigested matter from the human body quite effectively and leave the digestive system quite clean.
Dietary fiber is present mainly in plant foods. These fiber rich foods are essential for proper digestion and for keeping the internal system clean. That is the reason doctors and dieticians recommend a high fiber diet to people who have digestive problems such as constipation.
However, the role of dietary fiber in weight loss is highly debatable. There are people who vouch for incorporating fiber in the diet for purposes such as colon cleansing and weight loss and then there people who strongly veto its use. The common contention against a fiber diet is that it does not provide the body with the minerals and vitamins that the body requires for its growth and proper development. There is also the problem that fibers can break down into sugars and hence cannot be used suitably in diabetic people who actually form a large proportion of the overweight population of the world. This kind of criticism is seen quite clearly in the Atkins diet , which is one of the most popular low carbohydrate diets in the world.
Despite all this criticism, it is certain that fiber foods need to be part of our daily diet. There are various benefits that these foods provide us apart from the fact that they can keep our digestive system cleaner. Here are some of their uses:-
- The fiber foods can provide our body with a significant supply of energy. 1 gram of pure fiber can provide our body with 4 calories of energy. This is the main energy that is needed for our sustenance.
- Fiber is essential because it can help in the regulation of the fat metabolism in the body.
- It has an important role to play in the gastrointestinal function.
- One of the chief functions of fiber is a little-understood physiological action known as protein sparing. Basically, it means that a proper amount of carbohydrates is essential in the body otherwise the body will burn down protein molecules for its supply of energy. With fiber in the body, energy is derived from it and proteins are spared for their chief function of bodybuilding and tissue building.
One of the chief functions of fiber is a little-understood physiological action known as protein sparing. Basically, it means that a proper amount of carbohydrates is essential in the body otherwise the body will burn down protein molecules for its supply of energy. With fiber in the body, energy is derived from it and proteins are spared for their chief function of bodybuilding and tissue building.
Quantitatively, fiber must constitute the main bulk of our diet. All green leafy vegetables and most fruits are good sources of fiber. Hence, foods such as salads, soups and fruit dishes should form an essential role in the diet. For people who cannot manage to eat such foods, there are fiber supplements galore. However, any fiber supplement cannot be preferred over natural foods. The main thing is that proper motivation is needed for a person to stick with any kind of diet, and fibers are no exception.