A diet rich in fiber is constantly associated with good digestive function. But its value does not stop there: the consumption of dietary fibers is also linked to lower cholesterol levels, lower incidence of cancer, diabetes control, and regulation of the intestinal microbiota.
Despite the long list of benefits, the low frequency of consumption during the day is the main obstacle for Brazilians to obtain the minimum amount of fiber recommended per day (approximately 25g according to the World Health Organization).
This diagnosis is from the research “Fiber Consumption in Brazil” conducted by the IBOPE, which points out that although 78% of Brazilians consume fiber in their routine, only 37% usually ingest it more than once a day.
Please find out more about what they are, where to find them, and the benefits of dietary fibers.
What are dietary fibers?
Dietary fibers are plant compounds resistant to digestion and absorption by the human body. This means that they reach the intestine unchanged.
In the large intestine, where intestinal bacteria undergo a total or partial fermentation, their benefit appears: in this phase, by-products are produced, such as short-chain fatty acids, which help reduce the fat rates in the blood and diabetes.
Fibers are divided into two groups, insoluble and soluble in water. Insoluble fibers are responsible for retaining a more significant amount of water and helping the intestine function better, producing softer stools with more volume.
Soluble fibers remain longer in the stomach and promote the feeling of satiety. They also can bind to fat and sugar molecules, eliminating them through the stools and helping to reduce blood cholesterol and blood glucose levels.
Where to find dietary fiber?
To increase fiber intake, the first step is to ingest more peeled fruits and vegetables, including more cereals and vegetables.
It is essential to increase your fiber intake gradually and accompanied by water intake to avoid abdominal cramps and constipation.
Benefits of including dietary fibers in your diet
Besides the excellent functioning of the body linked to intestinal health, according to the WHO, for every eight grams more of dietary fiber ingested per day, there is a 5% to 27% reduction in the risk of developing coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and rectal cancer.
Studies have also shown that, combined with physical exercise, fibers can prevent or delay type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, contribute to weight control and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.
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