How Does Fiber Help You?
- By: Phil Tucker
When people consider the science of nutrition, they often want to skip to the more advanced parts of nutrition for exercising. They want to know what kind of protein powder is best, if they should be taking whey or casein. They want to know if creatine powder is a good supplement, or when they should be eating-before or right after a workout? Few people want to take time to sit down and learn the basics of nutrition, such as how much protein, carbs, and fat they should be eating, and even fewer people want to learn about fiber, and why it is so important to their health. Well, in today's article we're going to take a quick look at what fiber is and what it does for you so that you can master this elementary but foundational keystone to your health and long term fitness success. We promise to make this quick and painless, so just read through and get your facts straight!
Fiber is at its most basic a kind of carb that is sufficiently different from starchy or fibrous carbs to be in its own category. There are two kinds of fiber and they are soluble versus insoluble, and you can also categorize them as fermentable and infermentable. Confused yet? Well read on! Soluble fiber dissolve in liquid, while insoluble ones don't . See? Simple. Fermentable means that bacteria in your gut can ferment them into different things as short-chain fatty acids, methane, etc, while infermentable ones can't.
What does fiber do for you? Quite a lot, actually. Perhaps the most obvious affect it has on you is that it promotes satiety, or what we understand as feeling full and thus no longer hungry. Fiber will slow things down in your gut so that you don't immediately feel hungry again. This very slowing down process works to your advantage in that it slows down and regulates how quickly you absorb nutrients, helping you avoid spikes in your blood sugar. However, this also means that you are absorbing nutrients and minerals less perfectly, as the fiber impairs your ability to render them from you food as well. Finally, it has a number of effects on colon cancer, and can help you go to the bathroom. Quite the list, but that just goes to show how important fiber is in your diet, and why you absolutely can't skip out on including it in your daily nutrition plan.
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