Fibers In Plant-Based Diets: Too Much Or Too Little?

Plant-Based Food
Plant-Based Food
Plant-Based Food
Plant-Based Food

The Standard American diet is sorely lacking in one regard- Fibre! We need to have at least 25-30 grams of fibers on a daily basis, but what may come as a surprise is that only less than 10% actually do so! In most cases, they are taking in 15 grams or even less on average. But what is all the commotion about? Why are fibers so important for the body? Don’t know your fibers? What are the ill-effects of having too little fiber in you? Let us find out. Read on…

What Is Fiber?

Fiber is essential for the wellness of the digestive system and also to promote the practice of binding to cholesterol and remove it’s excess. Cholesterol can cause blocking of the arteries and increase the likelihood of atherosclerosis and other heart ailments.

People who are making a shift to plant-based food may be switching from a low-fiber diet to a high-fiber diet via their plant-based meals.

Know Your Fibers

Fibers aren’t all the same. There are two kinds:

  • Soluble fibers, which are found in beans and fruits. These are easily dissolvable in liquids and also nourishes the gut bacteria.
  • Insoluble fibers, as the name suggests, don’t dissolve in water and only add bulk to the stool. You will feel fuller and satisfied- a trait that is a challenge in plant-based meals. Now both these types of fibers help in promoting healthy digestion.

Plant-Based Foods That May Give You Trouble Initially

Switching to a plant-based food diet overnight would mean that you are increasing the intake of your fibers, more so doubling it, like with the flick of a switch. Initially, your body will get kick-backs from the sudden shift to a high-fiber diet, but over time the body stabilizes and your digestion returns to normal. Be wary of trying these plant-based foods as they may result in digestive complaints in the starting phases of your switching to a plant-based diet.

  • Fruits that have a large dose of sorbitol and natural Fructose in it.
  • All plant foods that contain cellulose.
  • Beans that are rich in resistant starches and cellulose fibers, along with a bunch of sugars like fructans, galactooligosaccharides and raffinose.

Having a healthy mix of fibers is essential, especially if you are following a plant-based diet. Over time you will start to see the fruits of your decision to stick to the diet, right before your eyes.