What Is Dietary Fiber and How Can It Help
With Weight Loss?
You hear a lot about fiber in connection with good health, it does far more than keep you regular, it can also aid in helping you to lose weight. While it is not a magic cure-all for dieters, it is a pretty big weapon in the battle of the bulge. So what is it and how does it help you lose weight?
Understanding Dietary Fiber
Dietary Fiber, (a food type that many people are deficient in and adult should aim for approx 30 grams per day) is a form of carbohydrate and if comes form parts of a plant that our bodies don’t digest and hence, it passes through our bodies without contributing calories. Dietary Fiber comes naturally in two forms: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
Soluble fibre, absorbs water increasing the water content of the intestine. Insoluble fiber, is also referred to as ‘roughage’ does not absorb water think of what happen when you pour water on say celery. Both types are found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes.
How fiber reacts in the body
The difference between the two is how they react in the body. Soluble fiber, the type that dissolves, it fill you up and forms a sort of gel in digestive tract as is passes through, taking it with it some cholesterol and also slowing down the absorption of sugar – a healthy activity for your blood sugar levels as the less rapid pace keeps your blood sugar and you on an even keel reducing cravings for sugary snacks. Soluble fiber can be found in:
- Avocado10 grams/cup
- Peas 8grams/cup
- Berries 7.5-8grams/cup
- Chickpeas 8grams/cup
Insoluble fiber is the type that won’t dissolve in water – it just kind of hangs around. But it does have the ability to absorb water, so it ends up holding it, much like a sponge. As it travels through your intestines, it acts a lot like a sponge, too. It mops up certain types of carcinogens that cause cancer and is very helpful in getting bowel movements working again. Insoluble fiber can be found in wheat, corn, oat bran, nuts, and the skins and peels of many fruits and vegetables such as apples.
How Dietary Fiber Aids Weight Loss
So now that we know what it is and what it does, let’s get to the big question: how does fiber help you lose weight? Four words: it fills you up. For a long while. Studies show when volunteers eat 300 calorie meals with 10 grams of fiber, they stay fuller longer than if they ate 300 calorie meals with no grams of fiber.
The sense of satiety comes from fiber expanding in the stomach as well as the effect it has on digestion: it slows it down, causing your stomach to empty out slower than normal, in turn making you feel hungry further on down the road than what you would normally expect.