6 Benefits of Eating High Fiber Snacks
High protein. Gluten-free. Contains all 9 essential amino acids. High in fiber. You’ve probably heard and seen these statements on ads or items at your local grocery store. Sometimes it’s hard to tell which ones are actually valid and healthy. Are these just fancy terms slapped on a box to make something sell better?
Though there’s a lot of health-fad nonsense out there, it’s true that fiber is good for you—really good, in fact. High-fiber snacks and foods have tons of scientific data proving that they have tremendous benefits for your health.
What is Fiber?
Dietary fiber is the part of plant foods that your body can’t absorb or digest. It passes primarily intact through your digestive tract and then out of your body. It can be soluble—meaning it dissolves in water—or insoluble.
So if our body doesn’t absorb fiber, how can it be healthy for our bodies? Fiber may not have many nutrients of its own to give our bodies, but it gives back in many other ways.
Maintain Bowel Health
Foods with fiber, especially insoluble fiber, increase the weight and size of your stools as well as soften them. This makes it easier for them to pass, decreasing your chances of constipation. Think of fiber as a natural cleaning mechanism for your digestive tract, keeping things from getting clogged up in your system.
A high-fiber diet can also lower your risk of hemorrhoids or diverticular disease in your colon. Who needs a juice cleanse when you’ve got fiber? Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, vegetables, and others are great fiber snacks with high amounts of insoluble fiber.
A recent study in Annals of Internal Medicine found that participants who added 30 grams of fiber daily to their diet shed significant weight. High-fiber snacks fill you up faster since you can’t digest them. Fiber also binds with fat and sugar molecules in your system, reducing the number of calories your body actually absorbs. That could be as much as 90-130 calories a day, and up to 13 pounds lost a year.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
Soluble fiber snacks—like beans, oats, and flaxseed—dissolve in water once inside the body, making a gel-like substance. Studies show that soluble fiber helps clear out something called low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol levels. Fiber also reduces blood pressure, inflammation, and other heart health issues. A study published in BMJ says that for every 7 grams of fiber eaten daily, your risk of heart disease drops by 9%.
Control Blood Sugar Levels
Soluble fiber snacks have helped people with diabetes lower their blood sugar levels. Since high-fiber snacks slow the absorption of calories, they can also slow the absorption of sugar. If you don’t have diabetes but are at risk, eating a high-fiber diet can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. A comparison of 19 studies found that people who ate more than 26 grams a day lowered their odds of the disease by 18%.
A study published in Annals of Oncology found that fiber can reduce cancer. For every 10 grams of fiber you eat, you have a 10% reduced risk of colorectal cancer and a 5% fall in breast cancer risk. Research at the Harvard School of Public Health also found that people with a high fiber diet could expect a 17-19% reduced risk of death from any cause.
New research is showing that soluble fiber may help your body derive more minerals, like calcium, from your diet. More calcium means greater bone density. Plus, fiber helps your gut bacteria produce fatty-chain acids that do everything from reducing inflammation to lowering obesity.
Feast on Fiber with Plant Snacks
An easy way to get more fiber into your system is to try Plant Snacks. All of our chips contain 3 grams of fiber per serving. Derived from psyllium husk fiber and stone ground corn, our chips are friendly for vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free diets. Order some now to start reaping all these rewards of eating fiber!