“What is fiber?” “Do I need it?” “how much?”
These are common questions I get from my clients. So let’s discuss.
Fiber is a complex form of carbohydrates. There are two types of fiber. Soluble and insoluble. They are differentiated by their structure and the role they play in our bodies.
Soluble fiber creates sticky, jell-like substance in your body, combines with water and helps to slow digestion and absorption of your food (particularly carbohydrates) – that is important for regulating blood sugar levels and keeping you from experiencing that middle of the day, no fun, carb crash. Soluble fiber also helps lower cholesterol! Lastly, soluble fiber keeps you feeling full so if you’re in a caloric deficit (which is mandatory if you want to lose weight) if ensures your getting the most out of your food.
Good sources of soluble fiber include.
Insoluble fiber does not combine with water which means it helps bulk up your stool volume, speeds up the digestion of your food and aids in an overall healthy digestive system. Insoluble fibers are found in the cell walls of plants, so veggies are a good place to start when trying to increase the amount of insoluble fiber you’re eating. Whole grains are also a good source of insoluble fiber. Some best practices to ensure you’re getting enough fiber are;
- Eat veggies in at least two meals per day
- Be adventurous! Switch up your veggies from week to week
- Replace your current snack with a vegetable option
At a minimum I like to recommend 25g/day of fiber though the optimal amount seems to be closer to 35g/day for women and 48g/day for men.
If you have any questions, please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers to a healthy March!
Cyrus Lemon, CSCS