The Pro’s of Fiber
Fiber doesn’t sound especially appetizing, but it sure is good for you – and your weight loss goals. Dietary fiber has many wonderful health benefits. Sugar, on the other hand, is as tasty as they come. And while you need carbohydrates (glucose is the main fuel for your cells, after all), your diet should definitely favor fiber over sugar. US FDA recommends 25 g of fiber for women and men based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet a day. Here’s why:
Fiber is best known for keeping you regular and making sure everything is moving smoothly! It does this by adding bulk to your stool and absorbing water (staying hydrated is also key to staying regular).
Healthy Blood Sugar Levels
Fiber helps you maintain healthy glucose levels already within the normal range by slowing the absorption of sugars into your bloodstream. It’s also a clue that too much sugar, too quickly, isn’t good for you! Balanced blood sugar means a more balanced you, with steady energy levels.
One of the lesser-known things fiber does for you– especially the soluble kind – is feed the good bacteria in your gut. Even microbes need to eat, after all. While we don’t have the enzymes to digest fiber, our friendly gut bacteria do, and they make good use of it! As a very pleasant side effect of this process, bacteria make certain vital nutrients for us. The types of fiber that feed our good bacteria are known as prebiotics.
Healthy Weight Loss
A nice effect of consuming fiber – again, the soluble kind – is that it absorbs water and expands in the digestive tract. This helps you feel fuller longer, and can help reduce food cravings. Fiber supplements such as PGX are a great way to ensure you’re getting the fiber you need as part of a healthy weight loss program.
How to Increase Your Fiber Intake
Don’t worry – increasing your fiber intake doesn’t mean bran muffins, bran flakes, or even bran anything. Adding fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your plate will help you get the fiber you need.
Try these delicious ways to up your fiber intake:
Black Beans: Take taco night to the next level with the addition of these fiber and protein-packed legumes! Black beans offer 15 g of fiber per cup.
Avocado: The rich creaminess of an avocado belies the whopping 6.7 g of fiber that is found in just one half of this fruit. Plus, they’re packed with plenty of protein and healthy unsaturated fats.
Raspberries: 1 cup of nature’s candy offers up 8 g of fiber. Not a tough sell, right?
Almonds: Nuts might not seem like a natural source of fiber, but a quarter cup of almonds has 4 g of the good stuff.
Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are packed with protein, healthy fats, and – you guessed it – fiber! With 6 g in just 1 tbsp, chia seeds contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soak them in your favorite nut milk for a delicious snack.
Apples: Each of these lunchbox classics has about 4 g of fiber. Add apples to smoothies, oatmeal, or eat them raw – just be sure to include the skin!
Oats: Speaking of oatmeal, a cup of the stuff offers about 4 g of fiber. Top with some of the other items on this list – raspberries and almonds come to mind – for a tasty breakfast.
Potatoes: We often think of potatoes as a refined carbohydrate with not a lot of nutritional value, but would you guess that a medium potato has just about 4.5 g of fiber?
Onions: Surprised? A medium sized onion offers about 2 g of fiber. The soluble fiber in onions is called inulin, and its an especially beneficial prebiotic that will have your microbiome singing a happy tune.
PGX: PGX is a unique blend of super fiber complex made up of highly viscous polysaccharides. When taken with meals, PGX expands in the stomach to create a feeling of fullness by absorbing water and filling the stomach while slowing digestion. This keeps blood sugar from rising too high after meals, thereby curbing the body’s hunger cravings throughout the day.
Enjoy your new high fiber diet – and the health benefits that come with it! Check out our recipe page for yummy ways to add PGX and other fiber to your meals!