Fiber is a misunderstood part of our diet. It is essential for the body and in general Americans do not eat enough of it (around 40 grams a day is suggested). But do you actually know what fiber is and what it does?
1. Fiber is actually the infrastructure structure in most of the foods we eat. For example, the skin of the apple and the long string-likem], fibrous structure of celery. The critical part of this ‘material’ is that it actually stays intact until the very end of our digestive process.
2. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate. But what differentiates it from sugar is that it does not raise blood sugar levels. So yes, think FREE calories!!! You can actually subtract the grams of fiber from the total grams of carbohydrates. Can you believe that? Fiber is not actually broken down by the body and therefore does not effect your caloric consumption.
So, YES, if you want to lose weight, increasing your fiber can help. It will improve your digestive health, help control your blood sugar and improve you cholesterol levels.
A large number of sweet fruits and vegetables actually contains high concentrations of fiber. For example,
- 1 Pears (5.5 grams of fiber)
- 1 Apple (4.4 grams of fiber)
- 1 Cup Berries (8 grams of fiber)
- 1 Cup of Beans – black, lentil, split peas (10 grams of fiber)
- 1 Oz. Pecans, Almonds, Pistachios (3 grams of fiber)
- 1 Slice of Rye Bread (1.9 grams if fiber)
- 1 Cup Oatmeal (4 grams of fiber)
Important tip: Although juicing is a popular weight loss method and used to improve overall nutrition, juicing removes most of the fiber from fruits and vegetables. So, you are better off just eating them before you blend them.