Deep Dive: Fiber
Plus: Recipes packed with flavor and fiber!
"A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor." - Franklin D. Roosevelt
Monday. Welp, Big Pharma is coming after our kids now, too. The CDC estimates that about 20% of U.S. children six and older are obese. The solution? Better education and food policy? Improved physical education programs to get kids moving? Making changes so that junk food isn’t explicitly marketed to children?
No—that would make too much sense. Instead, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are conducting trials to test their weight loss drugs Saxenda and Mounjaro on kids as young as six. With FDA approval, this could secure lifelong customers for these companies since these drugs are effective only as long as they are taken. Great 🙄.
Moving on to a less aggravating topic: fiber. Do you need it, or can you go fiber-free? Let’s dive in.
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Deep Dive: Fiber
By now, we’ve all heard of or tried some diet that involves cutting back on carbs. In most health and weight-loss circles, low-carb was the only way to go over the past few years. Well, it turns out you don’t have to cut carbs to lose weight or improve your health. In fact, doing so might be a mistake. Why? Because there’s this thing called fiber in some carbs that is actually a key component of a well-balanced diet.
Why is fiber such a big deal? Well, research suggests fiber could be the secret weapon you need for not just losing fat but also fighting off diseases like cancer, improving your gut health, and helping to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure numbers. Fiber can also help you feel fuller longer, which is critical if you want to keep cravings and unwanted weight gain under control.
But here’s the kicker: Not many people are eating enough fiber. According to the USDA, only 4% of men and 12% of women are getting the recommended amount of fiber per day. Just so you know, that’s around 25 to 40 grams. That might not sound like a lot, but most of us aren’t even getting close to those numbers.
And if you still don’t think fiber is a big deal, here is something else to consider. A review of 185 studies found that those who got 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day were almost 20% less likely to get diabetes. Even better, they were over 30% less likely to die from heart disease. Those are serious numbers if you are trying to live a long, healthy life.
So, where do you start? There are plenty of tasty high-fiber foods you can start adding to your diet. Oats are an excellent option for breakfast, while lentils and beans make fantastic sides for any meal. Snacking on edamame or berries like raspberries is a win-win for taste and health. Avocados are not just for guacamole; put slices on your toast or salad. Nuts and seeds? Yes, please! And guess what? Even popcorn has fiber. Just take it easy on the butter or ultra-processed versions, but as far as snacks go, it’s a pretty good choice.
The key takeaway? Don’t underestimate fiber and how valuable it is when looking to optimize your nutrition and your health. In many ways, fiber is like the Swiss Army knife of nutrients. It does a lot of good for your body, and adding more of it to your meals is not hard. Minimizing your consumption of processed carbs and sugars is a good idea, but cutting out all carbs could mean missing out on valuable fiber your body can benefit from. So be smart with your carb choices, but don’t eliminate them. Your body, your gut, and your waistline will thank you for it.
1. A Salad Full Of Flavor and Full Of Fiber
Cucumber and celery salad for the win. This is the perfect side for any meal.
2. Add A Little Salsa, Add A Little Fiber
This corn salsa makes it easy to add some flavor and some fiber to your meals. Enjoy!
3. The Perfect Popcorn
As far as snacks go, popcorn has plenty of fiber and is pretty filling. Enjoy!
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