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Why is a high-fiber diet important?

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Quick Answer

A diet high in fiber helps to control weight, aids with digestion, and lowers blood cholesterol, according to Everyday Health. Fiber is also key to lowering the risk for diabetes, according to Mayo Clinic.

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Why is a high-fiber diet important?
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Full Answer

Fiber can be classified as either soluble or insoluble, meaning it either does or doesn't dissolve in water, explains Mayo Clinic. Soluble fiber, found in oats, beans, fruits and vegetables, helps to lower cholesterol and glucose levels. Insoluble fiber doesn't dissolve as it passes through the body; rather it helps to push other material through the digestive tract and regulate the production and passing of stool. It's found in bran, whole-wheat flour, nuts, vegetables and potatoes.

Dietary fiber is helpful for maintaining or losing weight because it's generally found in healthier foods that are lower in calories and promote satiety, reports Everyday Health. It's also excellent for supporting digestive health due to its function for bulking stool, which reduces constipation, bloating and gas. Other intestinal conditions are prevented by a high-fiber diet including irritable bowel syndrome and hemorrhoids. Fiber also reduces cholesterol and risk of heart disease by absorbing fats and bile in the bloodstream and passing them out of the body.

A daily intake of 20 to 30 grams of fiber is recommended, although most Americans only get approximately 15 grams a day, reports Everyday Health. Whole food sources of fiber are recommended over processed foods.

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