Meals with high amounts of fiber have many health benefits, including lowering cholesterol, regulating blood sugar levels, normalizing bowel movements, and promoting bowel health, according to Mayo Clinic. Fiber-rich foods can also help people to lose weight.
Fiber softens stools and increases their mass and weight, notes Mayo Clinic. This helps to prevent constipation and loose, watery stools. Fiber may also help to prevent hemorrhoids and colon diseases such as diverticular disease. Fiber-rich foods such as oat bran, flaxseed, beans and oats help to keep blood cholesterol levels down by reducing low-density lipoprotein.
Fiber may promote cardiac health by reducing inflammation and blood pressure, states Mayo Clinic. People with diabetes should eat plenty of fiber because it helps to regulate blood sugar levels by slowing sugar absorption. Some people add fiber-rich foods to their diet to prevent overeating, which promotes weight loss. Foods with a lot of fiber tend to make a person feel fuller for longer, and they often take longer to chew than other foods. Fiber-rich foods usually have less calories compared to the same volume of other foods.
The most common sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, according to Mayo Clinic. Eating a wide variety of foods that contain fiber is the best way to gain the health benefits.