Low fiber diet: Types, substances, benefits, disorders!
Balanced nutrition enriched with all types of nutrients is necessary for every individual, regardless of age and physical condition. Fiber is an essential component of our daily diet that helps keep our digestive system healthy. Unlike other nutrients, it does not break down and is absorbed by our body’s cells. In this way, it reaches the large intestine and colon, increasing the number of excretory products expelled from our body.
For individuals under 50 years of age, the daily recommended intake of fiber is 38 grams, while for older adults, it is only 30 grams. Daily fiber recommendations for women under the age of 50 are 25 grams, while an older woman needs only 21 grams per day. Therefore, it is essential to consume an adequate amount of whole grains, nuts, fresh vegetables, and fiber-rich fruits.
Different types of fiber in our diet:
Insoluble fiber: Cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose are fibers that do not dissolve in water or other liquids. Therefore, they are called insoluble fibers and are needed to increase the bulk of stool. Commonly, whole grains, nuts, wheat bran, rice bran, beans, potatoes, cauliflower, some vegetables, and fruit peels are the best sources of insoluble fiber. Doctors recommend these foods to patients suffering from constipation and other digestive problems.
Soluble fiber: Some fibers, such as pectin, mucilage, and gum, dissolve in water and form a thick gel-like substance when mixed with water. Doctors recommend consuming these fibers to lower blood sugar and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels. Flaxseed, barley, lentils, psyllium husk, dried beans, peas, oat bran, soybeans, and some fruits and vegetables are high in this type of fiber.
Which common food items are rich in fiber?
- Beans and other legumes, lentils
- Broccoli, carrots, beets
- Whole grains such as brown rice, millet, wheat bran, and oats.
- Apples, bananas, avocado, guava, blackberry.
- Dried fruits, seeds, and nuts.
The signs that indicate a low-fiber diet in your food:
If you do not regularly consume enough fiber-rich foods, you may experience some symptoms related to your health. If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms, you should immediately start consuming such foods.
- Constipation: Severe constipation and frequent bowel movements are the primary symptoms of serious constipation. If you are suffering from this problem, it means that your diet is deficient in adequate amounts of fiber.
- Weight Gain: If you are not easily satisfied with your appetite, it indicates a lack of fiber in your diet. Therefore, you keep eating and still do not feel satisfied, which leads to a rapid increase in your body weight.
- Fatigue: A continuous lack of fiber in your diet can easily make you tired even after doing a little work.
- Increase in Blood Sugar Levels: An unusual fluctuation in your blood sugar levels can also be a warning sign that you are neglecting the consumption of fiber-rich foods. This symptom becomes more apparent for diabetic patients, and they find it difficult to control their glucose levels without consuming fiber.
What are the benefits of a high-fiber diet?
- Easy bowel movements: The presence of fiber in the diet softens a large portion of stool, making it easy for solid waste to be eliminated from the body. Fiber also absorbs excess water from the stool and increases its volume.
- Assists in weight loss: Dietitians advise the consumption of fiber-rich foods to help reduce the extra weight in overweight patients. Fiber makes them feel full and keeps them satisfied for longer periods, which helps them eat less and lose weight. This process also helps regulate insulin levels in the body.
- Healthy digestive system: Consuming fiber-rich foods can help relieve constipation in individuals suffering from the condition. Including fiber in your daily diet can help prevent diseases such as hemorrhoids, colorectal cancer, and diverticular disease.
- Regulates glucose levels: Diabetics can lower their high blood sugar levels by consuming large amounts of soluble fiber in their daily diet. This fiber can slow down glucose absorption in the blood cells, which in turn lowers the level of blood sugar in the body.
- Reduces bad cholesterol: Fiber-rich foods can reduce levels of bad cholesterol or low-density lipoprotein (LDL) in the blood. Flaxseed, oats, and beans usually contain soluble fiber, which is effective in this regard.
Disorders related to low-fiber diet:
- A low-fiber diet can lead to digestive problems such as constipation and irregular bowel movements, which can affect your overall health. Severe constipation can result in inflammation and pain in the gastrointestinal tract.
- Diarrhea or loose stools is another disorder that can occur due to insufficient fiber in your daily diet. If there is no fiber in your diet, then there will not be enough insoluble fiber to absorb excess liquids in the digestive system, leading to this disorder.
- Diverticulosis, the formation of small pouches on the walls of the intestines, is another serious disease that can occur due to a lack of fiber in your diet. This is a rare disease that is still incurable, and you can prevent it by adding fiber to your daily diet.
- Colon cancer is associated with irregular bowel movements and constipation. By including fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and grains in your daily diet, you can prevent it.
- Most fiber-rich foods also contain antioxidants that can combat inflammation in the body. Therefore, if we don’t consume enough fiber, it will be difficult to treat inflammation caused by many diseases.
- Obesity is another physical condition that is attributed to a lack of fiber in our daily diet. These fiber-rich foods fill us up without adding calories and fat to our bodies, without which our weight begins to increase.
Daily consumption of fiber can help in preventing various health problems. You can consult your doctor to determine the amount of fiber-rich foods to include in your regular diet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
How can I increase fiber in my daily diet?
- Ans:- The best way to include fiber in your diet is by adding at least two different types of vegetables, including leafy greens, to your meals. To ensure sufficient fiber intake, you should also include some tasty, fiber-rich fruits in your diet.
2. What fiber-rich foods can we eat for breakfast?
- Ans:- For starting your day with adequate fiber intake, you can include oats, apples, berries, and yogurt, which are healthy food options, in your breakfast plate.
3. Do we need to eat dark-colored foods for more fiber?
- Ans:- Some dark-colored vegetables such as broccoli, beets, and carrots contain a higher amount of fiber. Artichokes are also a rich source of fiber.
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