3 minutes

When the topic of dietary fiber comes up, the first thing that comes to mind is “that stuff that makes people poop more. Wonderful.”

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But how much do we actually know about fiber?

Well, for starters, do we really even know which foods contain fiber? Some of the highest fiber foods include: Raspberries, whole wheat spaghetti, pretty much any bean, Artichoke, etc.

If I had known that raspberries had 8 grams of fiber per cup, maybe I would have spent the money on them, or gone and picked them wild.

Anyways, why do we care about fiber so much? Well here’s what fiber is doing in our digestive system:

  • Its keeping you regular! Told you… Insoluble fiber stays more intact as it travels through your digestive system. This helps move waste through the intestines in a timely fashion while also absorbing more water for a softer “push”.
  • It helps with digestive flora. Prebiotics use fiber as a food source to flourish in your gut!
  • It can help control hunger and cravings! This is good news for all the junk food lovers out there, myself included! High fiber foods can add “bulk” to our meals, making us feel full for longer. It has been stated that if your food is high in water, air, or fiber, the stomach will stretch and empty more slowly giving a longer lasting effect!
  • It can help you avoid illnesses! Since fiber helps keep stuff flowing through the intestine, we can help prevent diseases such as diverticulitis. And since it doesn’t sound very scary on its own, let me drive home how scary it is. These are pockets that form in the walls of your colon which can get a build up of “crap” inside and become infected.

So why do we care? Other than a little bit of constipation, why would I really want to invest in more fiber?

Before I explain this, I want to go off on a small tangent. Obesity.

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We know obesity is a growing concern worldwide, but in Canada alone approximately 25% of the population is considered obese and if we include people considered overweight, this number grows to approximately 62%. That is a rather large chunk of our population!

Why should we be worried about obesity? All humans come in different shapes and sizes. I agree! We all have different genetics and predispositions. But an unhealthy lifestyle could lead to obesity related diseases. This is the real issue. Some examples of obesity related disease are: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, heart disease, strokes, etc. The list is substantial. These are all very scary, and very real problems that society deals with regularly.

Conquering obesity isn’t cheap and its not a fast process either. But what if I told you I had an easy home, and relatively cheap home remedy that could help you start the process? Sounds pretty awesome if I do say so myself! Almost sounds like one of those miracle weight loss ads we see all over T.V. The miracle substance that already lives in your fridge and cupboards! Sounds too good to be true, right?

But what if I told you there was good evidence for it?

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I was also surprised. But here’s the facts!

We already know that if we consume high-fat and high-calorie meals (HFHC), we are more likely to accumulate fat mass. Pretty standard stuff. A recent study has provided evidence that a diet that is high in fiber has different effects on the body compared to high-fat, high-calorie diets. Which is logical but ill explain in more detail. When the body consumes HFHC meals, we put oxidative and inflammatory stress on the body. This stress is basically an imbalance in the bodies ability to counteract and neutralize free radicals via antioxidants. This may not make sense to everyone, but just know that the accumulation of free radicals can be harmful to our body.

In this study, it was shown that participants that consumed a fiber supplement with their HFHC breakfast had different results when compared to the participants that only consumed the HFHC breakfast. Those who took the fiber supplement experienced lower blood glucose and higher insulin secretion. WHICH IS GOOD!!!! This means the body is regulating homeostasis more effectively! Inflammatory effects were also observed in the participants that took the fiber supplement, concluding that the intake of fiber may help prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease!

This is what I’m getting from this… If I poop more, then I am helping prevent obesity related diseases? Doesn’t sound half bad.

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