Like any betch, I’m constantly complaining, and usually, it’s about my stomach. It feels like I’m forever stuck in a cycle of either sh*tting to the death or being constipated for a year. Yeah, it’s TMI, but I can’t be the only one suffering—and I’m not. A lot of these struggles can come down to one thing: fiber. Nutritionist and dietitian Tracy Lockwood Beckerman gave us all the info on how to properly incorporate fiber in your diet on our Diet Starts Tomorrow podcast.
WTF Is Fiber?
Fiber is a plant-based nutrient that aids your digestion. It can be found in vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes (so like, none of the fun foods). Your body doesn’t store fiber, so it wants to get rid of it ASAP. Fiber also clings to cholesterol, so that’s going to come out of you too, which is like, a good thing.
Why Is It Good?
Tracy believes that all diets should have fiber in it. Other than helping you poop (sry), fiber also keeps you full. Foods with more fiber have the ability to stave off hunger for longer. For example, oats have bran, so they stay in your stomach longer and make you feel less empty *emotionally eats oatmeal*. And, no matter the amount of fiber you eat, Tracy says, “It doesn’t contribute to any weight gain.” So it’s basically magic. Another bonus: eating lots of fiber (and consequently, getting rid of said fiber via your digestive system) can prevent colorectal diseases and intestinal diseases in the future.
Don’t Abuse Fiber
Like all good things, it’s important to not OD on fiber. If you start eating too much fiber all at once, you can deplete your body of other nutrients it needs. “The body is not used to taking in as much roughage and grains that we should be.” Tracy explains, “by increasing the fiber you have to do it in a little bit more mindful and incremental way.”
When you’re eating more fiber, you also need to drink a ton of water. This keeps you from getting dehydrated and helps you push all that crap you ate through your system. Without enough water, the fiber can get stuck and cause a lot of bloating and pain (aka my normal state of being). So yeah, I should probably listen to my mom when she says water fixes everything, but don’t tell her I said she’s right.
How Much Fiber Should You Get?
Women should be getting 30-35 grams per day. Tracy says most Americans are only getting between 16-18 grams of fiber and apparently that’s really bad. Some examples of fibrous foods from Tracy are beans, apples, kale (obviously), berries, broccoli, whole grain bread/ pasta, etc. So you have some options in ways to get your fiber in—figure it out, betch.
Are Fiber Supplements Worth It?
Like, no. “It’s not worth it,” Tracy says. She explains, “We’re spending a lot of money on these supplements and sometimes we’re seeing benefits, sometimes we’re not, but you can get this all through food.” Basically, you’re blowing your money on tiny pills when you could just eat better. Supplements seem like a lazy move, which sounds fun until you’re broke. Haha.
Clearly, fiber is important. But there is more to learn about it and being like, a fully well rounded healthy human. I’m not a f*cking scientist so don’t @ me. Instead, check out Tracy’s Instagram and listen to our Diet Starts Tomorrow episode below.
Images: Giphy (2); Trang Doan/Pexels