The roughest celebration happens on National Fiber Focus Month, which takes place throughout the month of January! Fiber or roughages are the carbohydrate component of plant foods that cannot be digested by our bodies. However, because they cannot be digested does not mean they’re bad for you. In fact, it’s the opposite, as fiber contains multiple health and digestive benefits.
History of National Fiber Focus Month
The focus is on fiber this January. Fibers are plant-derived food substances that cannot be easily digested by the human system. But just because they cannot easily be digested, does not make them bad for you. Fiber is a broad diet category and gives us multiple benefits, some of which we will be discussing below.
Although it is a very essential diet component, our bodies cannot make fiber. This means we have to outsource it and eat as much as we can. The most interesting fact about fiber, however, is that our bodies do not absorb it. So how do we get all the nutrients, you might ask? Well, read on to find out more.
Fiber can be found in plant-based foods such as whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Once consumed, the roughages remain in our digestive tract over time and bulk up to aid digestive and gastrointestinal movements. Fibers are a broad food group and can generally be grouped by their solubility, viscosity, and fermentability depending on how they are processed in the body.
Viscous fibers form gel-like substances in water, while fermentable fibers are those that are fermented by bacteria in the colon. Dietary fiber, however, is gotten from plant foods and is composed of soluble or insoluble fiber.
Soluble fibers like barley and oats are viscous and fermentable, retaining water to ease the fecal process and trapping fat, making your body absorb less. Insoluble fats such as wheat bran trigger secretion of mucus in the intestines which facilitates bulking. Some plant foods like avocado and beans contain both soluble and insoluble fibers.
National Fiber Focus Month timeline
The first oatmeal manufacturing company, the German Mills American Oatmeal Company, is founded.
The Quaker symbol is adopted, making it the first registered and trademarked breakfast cereal.
Hipsley coins the term ‘dietary fiber.’
Dietary fiber expands to include indigestible polysaccharides.
National Fiber Focus Month FAQs
What is the difference between fiber and dietary fiber?
Fiber is a substance found in plants, while dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that we can eat. These are the fibers classified into soluble and insoluble fibers.
Does fiber contain fat?
Fiber contains little to no fat or calories. Instead, it traps the fat in our system, allowing us to absorb less, and also contains about one to two calories per gram depending on the food item.
Are eggs high in fiber?
Eggs in themselves are not the best fiber source. However, you can boost the fiber content in your eggs by including vegetables such as avocados and lentils.
National Fiber Focus Month Activities
Switch to brown rice
Swap out your regular white rice for brown rice or quinoa for the entire month. It may seem like a small change, but these options are high in fiber and can boost your digestive system tremendously. There are also several recipes for cooking brown rice that does not reduce the quality. You can find them online and apply them to your cooking.
Have oatmeal for breakfast
Oats are packed with fiber and other nutrients. Make it a priority to include oats in your breakfast as often as you can. There are several ways oats can be consumed, so whether you are having it in biscuits or as a pudding, the effect is the same.
Eat more vegetables
Vegetables have high roughage volume, often the purest kind. We always preach the importance of eating vegetables to our kids but are often found lacking even as adults. This month, make an effort to consume more vegetable-centered meals.
5 Important Facts About Fiber
You need a lot of it
The average intake of fiber per day should be 14 grams per 1,000 calories.
It can help you lose weight
Fiber helps you feel fuller due to being in your system longer — it also reduces the urge to eat.
Low cholesterol levels
Fibers lower cholesterol levels in the body with studies showing a 40% lower risk of heart disease.
They control blood sugar
Soluble fibers slow down the absorption of sugar in our bodies, maintaining insulin and energy levels.
Too much of it is not good
Too much fiber intake can cause diarrhea and bloating, which interfere with the absorption of minerals.
Why We Love National Fiber Focus Month
It’s an opportunity to become healthier
The new year often brings an overwhelming pressure of resolutions, and studies have shown a lot of those involving dieting and exercise. These resolutions can cause stress and make us feel defeated. National Fiber Focus Month gives us an easier transition into a healthier life without us having to cut down our food intake.
It’s a chance to try new recipes
With the inclusion of fiber into our diets, we are opened up to new recipes that can make the experience fun. These recipes boost our culinary skills and widen our eating options.
It makes us eat our vegetables
Fibers can only be gotten from plant-based foods, the highest being vegetables. National Fiber Focus Month encourages us to include more vegetables in our meals in a delicious way.
National Fiber Focus Month dates