Can Fiber Help You Lose Weight?
Can Fiber Help You Lose Weight?
What is Fiber? Fiber is the element in plants (like fruits, vegetables and whole grains) that our bodies do not digest. Fiber is different from most foods that we eat in that, unlike most foods, which are absorbed and digested, fiber is not absorbed or digested. It actually passes quickly through your digestive tract, mostly intact, and it is not broken down like other foods. The fact that fiber is mostly left intact is a good thing as it creates bulk, which aids in moving harmful carcinogens through the digestive tract. Without enough fiber in your diet, you will have irregularity and sluggishness. Insufficient fiber can also increase your risk of colon cancer, as well as other serious health issues.
Two Types Of Fiber: There are two kinds of fiber: Soluble fiber dissolves with water and creates a gel-like substance that helps to lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels. Insoluble fiber absorbs water, which adds bulk to your digestive tract and helps to move things through quickly. Examples of soluble fiber include oats, oat bran, peas, rice bran, legumes/beans, apples, and citrus fruits. Examples of insoluble fiber include whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, rye, cabbage, carrots, brussel sprouts and nuts.
Health Benefits Of Fiber: Besides keeping our digestive track working smoothly, other health benefits of fiber include reducing the incidence of heart disease, lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, glucose levels and inflammation, and even weight loss. Fiber can help with weight loss because it creates a fullness within your intestines that helps you to eat less.
How much Fiber Should You Consume In A Day? If you are like most Americans, then you probably consume about 10 to 15 grams of fiber a day. Unfortunately, this is just not enough. We should actually be consuming anywhere from 25 to 38 grams of fiber a day. The national fiber recommendations are 30 to 38 grams a day for men and 25 grams a day for women.
Best Way To Consume Fiber: Now as previously mentioned, brown rice, apples, whole grain cereal, and foods made with whole-wheat flour contain a good amount of fiber. However, be cautious. Some fiber rich foods may also be high in carbohydrates, which turn in to sugar! For those limiting carbs, look at the ratio of usable carb or net carbs compared to fiber. Some high fiber-low carb foods are as follows: Mustard Greens, Chicory, Endive, and Flax Seeds. Foods with more fiber than usable carbohydrate are collard greens, avocado, spinach, chard, broccoli, cauliflower, blackberries, and raspberries.
So… just to recap, fiber is an essential aspect to a healthy diet. It slows the rate that sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. When you eat foods high in fiber, your blood glucose levels are kept from rising too fast. It keeps us feeling full, keeps the digestive system working properly and may even aid in dropping those unwanted pounds and shedding belly fat. For more information on a well balanced meal plan that will fuel your body with the nutrients that are imperative to a healthy lifestyle, and assist in reaching your fitness goals, getting in shape, working out, or if you’re frustrated with your current level of fitness and looking to hire a personal trainer, contact us.
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