FEATURE: The Essential High Fiber Diet

A high fiber diet contains foods that have a lot of fiber. Can it get any more basic than that? How about this one? Fiber has no calories. Are you getting the picture?

Fiberlady knows that changes can be hard at first, especially changes in your diet. She also knows that when you follow a high fiber diet as part of your daily routine, you may feel a wondrous change for the better.

There are no secrets…

Until there is more awareness, obesity will remain an unfortunate and major health issue in today’s society. If people would change their food choices to include more high fiber foods and strictly limit the amount of processed foods they consume, the statistics might be reversed. Of course, sedentary lifestyles add to the problem and to the waistline.

It is a studied fact that most of your American neighbors only eat about 10-12 grams of fiber daily. It is believed by nutritional experts that 20-35 grams of dietary fiber is the effective minimum allowance. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables, brown rice, oats, flaxseed, wholegrain breads and cereals will up your fiber ante very nicely.

There are no surprises…

People who eat high fiber foods weigh less than those that are not on a high fiber diet. High fiber foods keep you feeling fuller for a longer period of time because they take longer to digest. You are much less likely to overeat. When you eat high fiber foods, they generally take more time to actually chew. Have you ever tried to eat a crunchy, chunky apple in a hurry?

Your body weight is controlled by the number of calories you eat and the number of calories you use each day. Foods high in fiber, especially fresh fruits and veggies, are low in calories. Eating a variety of fibers, both soluble and insoluble, will provide a healthy diet. Soluble fiber comes from oats, fruits and legumes. Insoluble fiber comes from whole grains, nuts and veggies.

Obviously, fiber cannot be the end-all for your dietary needs. Other nutritional foods must be included in your weight loss plan. You should always begin by adding fiber slowly to your diet or you will feel some unwanted effects like gas and bloating. Drinking at least 8-8 ounce glasses of water a day is important. Fiber acts like a sponge and without enough water… well, you can imagine the discomfort.

The wise ones with high-fiber diets not only lose weight, but are more likely to eat less red meat, drink less alcohol, smoke less and stick with some exercise routine. All of these healthy behaviors can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, some forms of cancer, stroke and diabetes.

Eating fiber-rich foods is great way to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. Fiberlady suggests making little changes everyday. If you can change your eating habits, you can change your life.

Stephanie Shank (a.k.a. Fiberlady) has studied good nutrition since her days of mothering began 15 years ago which prompted her commitment to a high fiber lifestyle and the development of her informative website www.high-fiber-health.com.

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