What is Fiber?
Fiber is essentially carbohydrate found in the cell walls of plants that can not be consumed by the body, it is found in vegetables fruits and all plant materials.
There are two types and both are good for us:
Soluble fiber turns to a gel when mixed with water, it slows down digestion and feeds our gut flora (Bacteria) to keep us healthy.
Insoluble fiber swells up when mixed with water and helps add volume to our stools and prevents constipation.
How much fiber is enough?
The latest research suggest:
30-38 grams per day for men
25 grams per day for women
21 grams per say for women 51 years and older.
The best sources for fiber:
All vegetables contain fiber and the less you cook them the better quality of nutrients including fiber they will contain.
Fruits also contain fiber and eating the whole fruit actually slows down the release of fructose as the fiber makes for slower absorption and slows down eating time .
For example you could drink a glass of orange juice in a few seconds with all the fructose sugar and zero fiber but to eat 8 oranges whole would take some time as you have all that good fiber to digest.
Fiberous fruits and vegetables makes us feel fuller for longer and slows absorption of sugar.
When weightloss is the goal this is important to control cravings and spikes in blood glucose.
Here is a typical days meal and the fiber contained on a Paleo (whole food) diet.