The Benefits Of Eating More Fiber For Weight Loss
Weight loss or general health benefits, eating more fiber can make a big difference. Not only does it keep you fuller for longer, but it also prevents constipation and may protect against heart disease.
Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough. Nutrition experts suggest that women consume 25 grams of fiber a day and men aim for 38 grams daily.
1. It Keeps You Full
Fiber helps you feel full, which helps prevent overeating. Plus, it makes you less likely to crave food an hour later, leading to greater satisfaction with your meals.
Kelly Toups, a registered dietitian with the Whole Grains Council (opens in new tab), believes it can also aid weight loss. Eating more whole grains increases bile acid production in your liver which breaks down fats and carbohydrates more efficiently; this lowers cholesterol levels – an important risk factor for heart disease.
Soluble fiber (found in beans and vegetables) reacts with water when eaten, creating a gel-like substance that expands in your stomach and slows digestion. Plus, it may increase satiety levels so you feel full faster after eating a meal, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, adults should strive to consume at least 25 grams of fiber daily. This can come from sources such as fruits, veggies, whole grains or legumes.
To increase your daily fiber intake, incorporate more vegetables and beans into your meals, opting for whole-grain foods over refined ones when possible, start dinners off with salads, and add beans to soups or stews as a delicious addition.
Dr. Lisenmeyer states that a high-fiber diet can aid weight loss by keeping you feeling satiated and decreasing caloric intake. Furthermore, it lowers cholesterol by decreasing LDL-cholesterol levels in your bloodstream.
Although a high-fiber diet can be challenging to stick to at first, the health benefits it provides are worth the effort in the end. Not only does it prevent constipation, heart disease and certain types of cancer; but it also improves digestive health and increases energy levels.
To increase fiber intake in your diet, add more whole, unprocessed foods that are high in nutrients such as fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Additionally, you may take a soluble fiber supplement to increase intake of this essential nutrient.
2. It Helps You Burn Fat
Eating more fiber than necessary is beneficial for many reasons, but one of the top ones is that it helps burn off calories and keeps your body lean.
According to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, fiber may help you lose weight even if you don’t reduce your caloric intake. That’s because fiber helps you feel full without adding extra calories to your meal, meaning you won’t eat as much at mealtime.
Fiber can be found in a variety of foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Whole grains like oats, barley or brown rice also contribute to fiber intake. Vegetarians may want to increase their plant-based protein intake with beans, Brussels sprouts and other legumes.
Eating a high-fiber diet can also help you steer away from foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, which are known to contribute to weight gain. That’s because fiber helps regulate your blood sugar levels and keeps it within healthy limits, according to Cording.
Also, eating regularly throughout the day helps you feel full, which may prevent overeating later in the day. That means you’re less likely to reach for a snack after your meal – which could result in additional weight gain.
Increase your daily fiber intake by swapping refined carbs for whole grains. Enjoy some delectable options like buckwheat soba noodles, polenta rounds and fruit bars to get started!
To add some pizzazz to your breakfast, try serving oatmeal with chia seeds and fresh berries. You could also enjoy a whole-grain muffin at lunchtime or avocado toast made with whole-wheat bread for a snack.
A high-fiber diet can also benefit your digestive health. Studies have demonstrated that having a healthy gut may reduce the risk of developing colon cancer, heart disease and diabetes.
Furthermore, soluble fiber can reduce fat absorption in the digestive tract, helping you steer clear of unhealthy fatty acids. Plus, it assists with detoxifying your system by soaking up extra estrogen and other toxins.
Eating more than the recommended 25 grams of fiber each day can be beneficial, so consider increasing your dietary intake with more whole grains, nuts and vegetables. If you’re unsure how to incorporate more fiber into your meals or snacks, ask a doctor for assistance.
3. It Prevents Diarrhea
By including enough fiber in your diet, the body’s natural processes for normalizing bowel movements and encouraging healthy gut bacteria become more efficient. This is especially helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a digestive condition that causes stomach cramps, diarrhea and constipation.
Additionally, a high-fiber diet may reduce your risk of heart disease and certain cancers. That is because fiber helps combat constipation, increases stool weight and softness, as well as improving bowel health by slowing waste movement in the colon.
Gaining enough fiber through a balanced diet that includes whole grains, fruits and vegetables is the key. Fruits contain soluble fiber while veggies like broccoli or asparagus as well as the outer layer of wheat bran contain insoluble fiber.
Soluble fiber bonds to water, creating a gel-like substance that helps your stool move along more easily and smoothly. You can find this soluble fiber in oats, barley and other grains; flaxseeds; lentils; peas; as well as certain fruits and vegetables.
It’s essential to remember that soluble fiber can dehydrate some people, so make sure you drink plenty of water while taking this supplement. Furthermore, consult your doctor if you experience symptoms of diarrhea that don’t seem to resolve over time or if this product is just not helping with those issues.
Diarrhea can be managed with fiber, but it’s best to start slowly. For instance, add a few teaspoons of psyllium powder once daily until your symptoms have subsided and then continue taking it for the long haul for additional benefits.
In addition to preventing diarrhoea, fiber can also keep you feeling full for longer and aid weight loss by increasing satiety and suppressing appetite. That’s because fiber is filling without adding many extra calories into your diet.
For optimal fiber benefits, make sure to incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts into your meals. Aim for 25-35 grams of fiber daily but aim for more variety if possible.
4. It Prevents Heart Disease
Studies have demonstrated that diets high in dietary fiber, such as those comprised of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, may reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This benefit is especially evident for individuals who are overweight or have diabetes or prediabetes.
Fiber not only lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, but it can also prevent heart disease by decreasing inflammation. Chronic inflammation has long been known to be one of the primary contributors to heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and other serious health conditions such as asthma.
To maximize the health benefits of fiber, you must increase your daily dietary intake to achieve the recommended 25 to 35 grams. The most effective way to do this is by eating a variety of plant foods rich in soluble and insoluble fibers like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.
Researchers have discovered that those who consumed more fiber had a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and coronary artery disease, even after accounting for other factors like age, smoking status, and weight.
Researchers conducted an investigation of 2,506 581 men and women participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). For two years, they were asked about their diet, lifestyle, including dietary fiber consumption, over that time. The results were then analyzed to determine whether dietary fiber had any influence on all-cause mortality rates.
As you can see from the table above, increasing dietary fiber intake by 10 grams significantly reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease among a large sample of people. Results showed a statistically significant reduction in both types of cardiovascular disease when comparing participants with high dietary fiber consumption to those with lowest intakes.
Although eating more fiber can be beneficial for improving your health, it’s best not to overdo it. Registered dietitian Holly Larson suggests that those introducing fiber into their diet should do so gradually and with plenty of water; this will reduce gas or bloating that may arise if you consume too much fiber at once.