Benefits of a fiber-rich diet - Deepstash

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Nearly all Americans fail to eat enough of this actual superfood

Benefits of a fiber-rich diet

Eating a fiber-rich diet is associated with better gastrointestinal health and a reduced risk of heart attacks, strokes, high cholesterol, obesity, type 2 diabetes, even some cancers. Fiber slows the absorption of glucose — which evens out our blood sugar levels — and also lowers cholesterol and inflammation.

Fiber doesn’t just help us poop better — it also nourishes our gut microbiome.

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Microbes

Research found the following difference in stomach microbes of different individuals:

  • Intestinal microbes of people living in villages, having a natural diet, are much more complex, and can degrade fiber.
  • People in cities, eating a western diet, have microbes in their stomach adapted towards processing protein, fats, and sugars.
Wrong Baseline Data

Due to the new kinds of microbes discovered in villagers, all the previous research on diet and microbes, which used the baseline data of the Western civilization microbe, thought to be the healthy and normal microbe, is now incorrect. 

Digesting Fibre

The Western world has stomach microbial communities that could digest junk food and might re-diversify and recover (to a limited extent) if we just ate more whole grains and veggies.

Added Sugar vs. Natural Sugar
Added Sugar vs. Natural Sugar
  • Added sugar is unfriendly to our health. It can be found in most food products we come across. It is absorbed by the body quicker unlike natural sugar.
  • Processed food is digested quickly as soon as it enters out intestine while fiber-rich foods break down slowly and travel farther down the digestive track making us feel fuller.
  • Foods containing natural sugar and fiber allow the body to feed the healthy bacteria in our gut and supports the health of our own microbiome.
Avoid Grapes and Bananas When Cutting Down On Sugar

Bananas and grapes are delicious fruits but they contain high amounts of fiber and natural sugar (fructose). When we eat these fruits it can give us a sugar spike or commonly known as sugar rush.

You can still eat them but eat them sparingly and try other variants of fruit instead.

Low Sugar Diet and Dried Fruits

If you're opting to go on a low sugar diet, dried fruits may not be the best suitable choice for you.

Dried fruit is a great snack as long as you're aware of how much of it you are eating. It's packed with nutrients but the drying process removes the water and concentrates a lot of the sugar in a small bite.

Western vs. Mediterranean diet
Western vs. Mediterranean diet

Western diet, typically high in animal fat and protein and low in fibre, increases the risk of cancer. The Mediterranean diet is high in fibre and low in red meat and has been likened with anti-inflammatory effects and an improved immune system.

This leads us to the conclusion that gut health, favoured by fibre, is a reason for longevity of people following the Mediterranean diet.

Probiotics

There has been a lot of hype around the health benefits of prebiotics and probiotics in recent years, but while they're increasingly used in treatments including inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, several reviews suggest there needs to be further research on which strains and dosages are effective. Recent studies have found some people are even immune to probiotics.

Gut microbiota

Gut microbiota has a major role to play in the health and function of the GI tract, with evidence that conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) often coincide with altered microbiota. But it also plays a much wider role in our health, and this is largely determined in the first few years of life.