Are you wondering whether or not you are meeting your daily fiber requirements or not? If yes, then you might not be alone.
In the modern world where everyone is becoming increasingly vigilant and conscious about their health, counting calories and measuring protein and carbohydrate intake has become a common practice for many people to maintain a clean bill of health.
With the rise of dietary and wellness practices like intermittent fasting, ketogenic diet, and circadian rhythm diet a sudden interest in what you eat and what you don’t has also risen.
Dietary Fibers are a form of indigestible carbohydrates that can be found in whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
These fibers are ideally known for facilitating the digestive process, enhancing your metabolism, and preventing constipation.
But did you know that most Americans are not able to effectively meet their daily dietary fiber requirements?
Believe it or not, dietary fiber deficiency is more common than you may think and can be caused by common issues like a low-fiber diet and lead to severe health problems like IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, and even heart diseases.
Since fiber is among the most crucial components to maintaining your overall gut health, here is all you need to know about dietary fiber deficiency to help you detect the signs of dietary fiber deficiency along with some solutions to beat the problem.
What are Dietary Fibers?
Dietary Fibers also called roughage are a form of indigestible carbohydrates that are found in plant-derived foods that cannot be fully digested by the human body.
Foods like legumes, whole grains, and some forms of fruits and vegetables are great sources of dietary fiber.
Unlike other food components like carbohydrates, protein, and fats dietary fibers cannot be completely digested by the human digestive enzymes.
Dietary fibers are vital for maintaining your overall gut health and digestive health that help regulate blood sugar levels, prevent heart diseases, and keeping you feeling fuller.
Ideally, there are two forms of dietary fibers i.e., soluble and insoluble dietary fibers that play different roles.
It is important to remember that the amount of soluble and insoluble fibers can vary based on the foods you consume.
However, it is recommended to consume foods that are rich in dietary fibers to meet your nutritional needs and requirements.
Soluble Dietary Fibers:
Soluble Dietary Fibers are fibers that can easily dissolve in water and form a gel-like substance.
This gel-like substance helps regulate blood sugar levels, glucose levels, and cholesterol levels.
Soluble fibers are found in foods like peas, apples, citrus fruits, beans, barley, carrots, oats, and psyllium.
Insoluble Dietary Fibers:
Insoluble dietary fibers on the other hand are the types of fibers that promote the movement of materials through your digestive system.
These forms of fibers increase the stool bulk and often help people with problems like irritable bowel syndrome and constipation.
Insoluble dietary fibers can be found in foods like whole grains, legumes, wheat bran, wheat flour, bean, nuts, and vegetables like green beans, cauliflower, and potatoes.
What is Dietary Fiber Deficiency?
Even though dietary fibers are not fully absorbed by your body, these components contribute significantly to your health.
Dietary fibers both soluble and insoluble are responsible for clearing your digestive system as they facilitate the excretion process.
Dietary fiber deficiency can be linked to a lack of fiber consumption that may lead to other health repercussions.
According to FDA Guidelines, an average adult must consume about 28 grams of fiber for a 2000-calorie diet.
People who are unable to meet their daily required dietary fiber needs are often dietary fiber deficient.
How to Identify Dietary Fiber Deficiency:
According to a study, on America’s Fiber Intake about 95% of Americans are unable to meet their required dietary fiber intake.
But believe it or not many people go by enjoying their regular meals unaware of their dietary fiber deficiency.
If you are someone who is wondering whether or not they have dietary fiber deficiency but do not know ways to determine, we’ve got you covered.
Here are some telltale signs of dietary fiber deficiency that will allow you to determine whether or not you are unable to meet your fiber requirements:
Constipation is among the most common signs of dietary fiber deficiency in most individuals.
Fiber facilitates your excretion process by absorbing water and allowing you to have a softer stool.
Furthermore, dietary fibers also help clean out your digestive system and clear your pathways allowing you to use the bathroom more frequently.
A lack of fiber-rich foods in your diet can lead to blockage and rougher stool eventually leading to constipation.
High cholesterol levels:
High cholesterol levels are caused by a rise in low-density lipoproteins or LDL also known as bad cholesterols.
Fibers are a great way of absorbing low-density lipoproteins and lowering your cholesterol levels.
According to a study led by the British Medical Journal, consuming appropriate amounts of foods rich in dietary fibers can lower the risk of severe cardiovascular diseases.
If you are someone who has a high cholesterol issue and you are witnessing a sudden spike in the numbers, it is best to load up on some fiber-rich foods.
Fatigue and Tiredness:
Dietary Fibers also efficiently regulate your blood sugar levels, this is because fiber-rich foods help slow down your glucose absorption process.
The slow absorption of glucose also helps regulate your blood sugar levels and insulin levels making you feel energized and active for prolonged periods of time.
A lack of dietary fiber in your meal plan can lead you to feel extremely tired and fatigued.
Another tell-tale sign of dietary fiber deficiency is constantly feeling hungry even after you have indulged in a scrumptious meal.
This is because your excretion process slows down when you consume fiber-rich foods.
Inability to lose weight:
Lastly, eating foods that are rich in fiber can leave you feeling fuller for prolonged periods of time.
This allows individuals to snack less and indulge less in foods that are rich in fats, carbs, and calories.
If you are someone who is on a weight loss journey but is unable to lose weight even after trying out multiple diet plans, chances are you are lagging behind in your dietary fiber intake.
Health Conditions that Might be Linked to Dietary Fiber Deficiency:
A lack of fiber intake might be more serious than you may think, as this condition not only makes you feel slow and sluggish but can also lead to severe health problems and conditions like:
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- obesity or excess weight
- high cholesterol
- bowel cancer
- breast cancer
- cardiovascular diseases
Tips to prevent and cure Dietary Fiber Deficiency:
If you are someone who is suffering from dietary fiber deficiency but you do not know how to cure it, do not panic.
Solving this problem might be more simple than you may think. In fact, with a few simple changes in your diet plan, you can easily prevent and cure your dietary fiber deficiency.
To help you resolve all your digestive issues and improve your overall gut health, here is a list of some tips and tricks to prevent and cure dietary fiber deficiency:
Eat more vegetables:
Vegetables and fruits are great sources of dietary fiber that can help you achieve the required fiber intake.
Consuming and incorporating fresh vegetables into your diet plan can not only prevent or cure dietary fiber deficiency but also helps improve the gut biome.
Try Fiber supplements:
Whether you are unable to consume a fiber-rich diet due to time constraints or you have dietary restrictions, dietary fiber supplements are a great way of meeting your nutritional requirements.
Stock up on bread:
Believe it or not but simply increasing the number of bread slices you indulge in can also help cure dietary fiber deficiency.
Bread that is made from whole wheat flour or wheat bran can be a great way to meet your fiber requirements.
Munch on popcorn:
Corns are a form of whole grain that can be a great source of fiber. It is best to munch on freshly popped popcorn instead of sugar-loaded snacks.
Enjoy a fiber-rich breakfast:
Breakfasts can be a great way of meeting your dietary fiber requirements. Whole grain cereals like wheat bran, oats, and porridge can be an easy way of meeting your fiber requirements.