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Are you eating enough fiber?

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest. There are two types: soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber turns the water in your digestive system to a gel consistency. It is found in foods such as oats, apples, and beans. Insoluble fiber is what gets our gut motility consistent and ensures stool bulk. This type of fiber is found in foods like cauliflower, whole grains, and nuts. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends 14 grams of fiber for 1000 calories eaten. The newest data shows that over 95% of Americans do not meet this recommendation! This is a problem because fiber has many more benefits than just helping our digestive system. When fiber is found in the digestive track, it reduces cholesterol absorption and helps our cardiovascular system. Foods that have fiber in them are not only good choices for those looking to lose weight, but fiber itself can aid in weight loss by making us feel fuller for longer. Lastly, fiber helps our blood sugar. Fiber helps digestion take longer to be broken down, thus helping maintain our sugar levels between meals. One way to help your sugar crash!

Even though most Americans do not get enough fiber, some people who are on a vegan or raw food diet can have too much. Consuming over 70 grams in a day is where experts start to see the most side effects. These can include bloating, gas, and constipation. They are quite unpleasant and can last for days even after returning to a lower fiber diet.

Eating more fiber does not need to be boring. It can actually be delicious and easy once you are aware of fiber-filled foods. I linked a few recipes below that are tasty while also helping you hit your fiber goal!

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