Fiber Benefits

Fiber Benefits

Eating a high fiber diet has many health benefits including decreased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, obesity, and many types of cancer (colorectal, oral, larynx, breast). Additionally, a diet rich in fiber is a commonly recommended to treat many digestive problems, like hemorrhoids, constipation, and diarrhea.

Because of the way our bodies process fiber and its varying characteristics, fiber has many benefits, as listed below:¬†‚Äč

Characteristics of Fiber
Benefits of Fiber
Reduces overall inflammatory markers
Prevents and treats diarrhea
Improves satiety and reduces hunger
Prevents and treats constipation
Slows absorption of glucose
Improves detoxification and elimination of toxins
Stimulates healthy bacterial overgrowth
Optimizes your gut microbiome
Binds materials and organic substances
Maintains healthy blood sugar levels, even those with among type 1 and type 2 diabetics
Increases stool bulk
Maintains healthy body weight and decreases risk of obesity
Slows transit of digested food through the intestine
Decreases levels of systemic inflammation and can reduce risk of coronary artery disease

‚Äč

There are two kinds of fiber, insoluble and soluble, that produce different positive results when consumed regularly.

Insoluble fiber comes from whole grain products, rice, legumes, vegetables, nuts and seeds. It is recommended to treat digestive disorders to include constipation, hemorrhoids, and fecal incontinence.  This type of fiber helps to bulk the stool, making it softer and easier to pass.

Soluble fiber comes from oats, nuts, seeds, psyllium, legumes, fruits and vegetables. It slows digestion which can help to treat diarrhea, improve blood sugar, lower cholesterol and thus, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Studies show that a high fiber diet can reduce the risk of coronary artery disease and stroke by 40 to 50 percent (compared to a low fiber diet). Also, in those that already have diabetes (type 1 or type 2), soluble fiber can help control blood sugar levels. Since soluble fiber helps you to stay fuller longer, it can aid with weight loss and weight management.

Additionally, soluble fiber can stimulate short chain fatty acid production. These acids are naturally produced by the gut microbiome. They promote gastrointestinal health, metabolism, heart health and support a healthy immune system. Beyond those benefits, studies have shown that improving the gut microbiome can decrease overall levels of inflammation throughout the body.

Taylor Morgan, PA-C, RDN, LD, IFNCP
Physician Assistant, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist 

Back to blog