The fibers regulate intestinal transit, so it is better to eat enough. Tips to consume more, without digestive discomfort.
Fiber provides a feeling of satiety
The fibers represent the part of the plants that our digestive system can not completely digest. They are found in fruits and vegetables, bread and whole-grain cereals, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
In our stomach, they swell with water and gain volume, giving a feeling of satiety. They regulate intestinal transit and allow waste to stay in the large intestine for a shorter time, which can reduce the risk of colon cancer. Some types of water-soluble fiber (fiber from fruits, legumes and some cereals) can absorb cholesterol much like a sponge, helping to lower blood cholesterol levels.
The recommended intake of fiber is 25 to 30 grams per day, but most Quebecers do not consume in sufficient quantities. According to the report of the Quebec Nutrition Survey (1995), 77% of women aged 18 to 34 and 41% of men aged 65 to 74 consumed less than 15 g per day. Many people are reluctant to increase their fiber intake for fear of digestive discomfort or bloating.
Tips for consuming more fiber
Here are some tips to consume more fiber while avoiding discomfort:
- Preferably choose cereals and whole-grain bread for lunch;
- Occasionally replace white rice with brown rice or wild rice, iceberg lettuce with romaine lettuce or meat with legumes;
- Sprinkle yogurt with dried fruit. Enjoy a potato-style potato for dinner or accompany your graham cracker dessert;
- Gradually increase your fiber intake, for example by adding one more serving per week of a high-fiber food;
- Distribute high-fiber foods throughout the day rather than eating them at the same meal;
- It is very important to drink plenty of water (6 to 8 glasses a day).