All this talk about nutrients and you most likely never think about fiber. For most people, it’s natural to focus on calories, especially when you’re planning to shed some weight or build lean muscle, and on macronutrients to ensure proper dietary balance in your menu.
But fiber is your GI tract’s best friend and a mighty ally in ensuring optimal weight management, digestive health, and immune strength as well. To give you a bit of a perspective on fiber and how you can consume more of it, here are a few reasons to inspire you to focus on fiber as much as you do on your macros.
1. Keeps Your Digestion Healthy
If you’ve ever experienced constipation or you struggle regularly with it, fiber should be your go-to nutrient. Fiber has the ability to add bulk to your stool and when consumed regularly and in the right quantities, it allows regular bowel movements.
Add to that, fiber creates the perfect conditions in your GI tract to help your good, healthy bacteria flourish. This means that the overall health of your digestion will improve, provided that you eat enough fiber on a regular basis.
2. Allows for Healthy Weight Control
Whether you’re looking to shed unwanted fat, gain lean muscle, or keep your current healthy weight, fiber should be part of your diet plan. Some studies have revealed a possible link between fiber and our ability to lose extra weight, which means that focusing on fiber can be a helpful tool for weight control.
However, it’s important to note that you need to balance your calories in addition to focusing on fiber – as useful as it is, fiber cannot replace proper portion control on your weight loss journey, or the need for optimal exercise.
If you want to properly optimize your weight loss plan, you can join our Medical Weight Loss Program that gives you a custom, guided approach to nutrition, exercise, and supplementation. That will ensure your fiber intake is on par with your caloric needs and other lifestyle habits.
3. Helps You Manage Cholesterol
Fiber is heart-friendly and a great ally in battling bad cholesterol. Research has shown that optimal soluble fiber intake helps you reduce “bad” cholesterol levels, and we’re all familiar with the link between high LDL cholesterol and the increased risk of heart disease as well as a number of other chronic conditions.
4. Boosts Your Body’s Resilience
In addition to your heart health and LDL levels, when it’s part of a healthy diet, fiber can play an important role in managing your blood sugar levels. Add to that, fiber has been found to be helpful for reducing your risk of various types of cancer, allowing your body to be more resilient for the long haul, and also contributing to your longevity.
For instance, fiber can help reduce the risk of colorectal cancers as well as breast cancer, especially when you consume fiber from whole grains, fruit fibers, and soluble fiber.
5. Reduces Risk of Illness
While reducing cancer risk and improving longevity are more than enough for most people to jump on the fiber bandwagon, it’s also handy to know that this nutrient can help reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes, gut-related chronic illnesses, and cardiovascular disease.
So, if you’re in search of at least one great health resolution you can make this year, make it your goal to optimize your fiber intake in order to protect your overall wellbeing and longevity.
While your calories and macros remain as relevant as ever for all your health goals, it’s important to take note of the role fiber plays in your health, too.