We talk about protein, we talk about fats, but rarely do we talk about the importance of a diet that contains enough fiber. To keep blood sugar balanced and digestion functioning optimally, most of us need to eat about 30 grams of fiber per day. Read on for some signs that you may need to add more fiber to your diet.
Inconsistent Bowel Movements
We’re sorry to have to go there, but if you frequently struggle with constipation or diarrhea not caused by illness or another health condition, there’s a good chance you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet. Fiber adds volume to stool, “cleaning” the digestive tract and facilitating smoother passage. Adding more fiber-rich foods like whole grains, fruits, and vegetables to your meals can help to get things back on track.
If you consistently find yourself hungry soon after eating, you probably need to include more fiber in your meals. Low-fiber diets can cause blood sugar spikes and leave you feeling unsatisfied, leading to excessive snacking in an attempt to curb hunger. Fiber-rich foods create a sensation of fullness, helping to prevent overindulgence and keeping blood sugar in check.
Elevated Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol levels are a risk factor for heart disease, and if your cholesterol levels exceed recommended levels, upping your fiber intake is usually a good idea. Soluble fiber, the kind found in foods like oats, legumes, and certain fruits, can lower LDL— or, ‘bad’— cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol molecules and allowing them to exit the body.