It’s a well-known fact that not getting enough fiber can lead to serious health problems, but what is less widely known are the ramifications of doing so. Eating too little of this important nutrient over time may cause short term harm such as abdominal discomfort or constipation. However, it could also have detrimental effects on your long term wellbeing and immune system.
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that humans can’t digest. Along with being a form of carbohydrate, fiber is believed to have prebiotic properties in promoting the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the large intestine.
Fiber is an essential component of a healthy diet. Nearly every organ system in the body benefits from sufficient fiber intakes, ranging from protection against constipation to regulation of cholesterol levels to improve cardiovascular health.
Fiber is beneficial for maintaining a healthy digestive system and assisting with food movement through your stomach. Unfortunately, we may get constipation if we don’t consume enough fiber in our diets. It can lead to discomfort, bloating, and occasionally hospitalization and surgery in very rare instances.
Without adequate fiber, the digestive tract can lose its muscle tone. It leads to a condition in which small pouches develop within an individual’s colon known as diverticulosis. It is an incurable condition. However, it is rare in countries where people eat a lot of grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Our gut microbiome needs food. So they eat the short-chain fatty acids made from starches in plant-based foods like grains, fruits, and vegetables. Because these acids assist in absorbing water in the intestines, decreased production from low fiber consumption may result in extra water getting passed, resulting in loose feces.
Colon cancer may be genetically-inclined. However, it is often the result of an unhealthy lifestyle which is underlined by HealthCanal. The colon typically protects against damage by absorbing any toxic chemicals or microorganisms that might be picked up from feces as they leave the body. So when there’s something wrong with it, those toxins can continue to bind and accumulate inside your cells and tissues, bringing an increased risk for harmful mutations and early onset cancerous diseases.
A low-fiber diet can result in fewer bowel movements per day, leaving an excess of material that could build up and lead to cancer. Low-fiber foods are often soft, not stimulating natural intestinal reflexes enough to create natural bowel movements.
A large prospective study within a population-based screening trial suggests that individuals consuming the highest intakes of dietary fiber have reduced risks for incident colorectal adenoma and distal colon cancer. This effect may begin early in carcinogenesis, with cereal fibers being particularly protective against tumor development at this site.
Fiber can also aid in the reduction of cholesterol levels. Lindsey Desoto, RDN, LD emphasized that a diet high in soluble fiber, such as that found in oatmeal, can help draw cholesterol from the liver and eliminate it. Skipping the vitamin, on the other hand, is linked to reduced HDL cholesterol levels.
Soluble fiber is a type of dietary fiber that can dissolve in water. They are called soluble because they dissolve or break down to make liquids thicker and slower-moving, which reduces the risk of bowel obstruction–a common side effect of insoluble fibers like cellulose.
Soluble fiber can be found in kidney beans, Brussels sprouts, apples and pears, among other things. Soluble fiber helps lower cholesterol absorption by your body. The soluble fiber in the range of 5 to 10 grams per day has lower LDL cholesterol levels.
A fiber-deficient diet might sometimes result in unwelcome weight gain. Fiber-rich foods move more slowly from the stomach to the intestine, promoting a sense of fullness and satiety. A lack of fiber permits materials to leave the stomach faster, which might lead to overeating. In addition, excess carbohydrates that aren’t used to fuel exercise will be stored as body fat if fiber isn’t present to prevent some of the glucose absorptions in the gut.
Are you ready to get the benefits of fiber? Don’t forget that it’s important for your diet to contain the right types of food and how much you eat. Adults should consume 25 to 38 grams a day, or 14 grams per 1,000 calories. Consuming two cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables per 2,000 calories will help to increase fiber intake, especially if the skin is left on. Beans and brown grains are also high in fiber. To increase the amount of fiber consumed from pieces of bread, crackers, cereals, and portions of pasta, choose whole-grain goods.