The Best Fiber Sources to Lose Weight, Including Belly Fat

Good News Notes:

Fiber may not be as trendy a term as keto, paleo, or flexitarian—hey, it makes us think of bran muffins and carpet fibers, too!—but let’s give that five-letter word a little love. After all, adding more fiber to your diet is one of the healthiest and easiest ways to manage your weight. (One large study published last year in the Journal of Nutrition found that increased fiber intake helped subjects lose weight independently of other factors in their diet; a 2018 study in Nutrition found that when subjects focused simply on increasing the amount of fiber and lean protein in their diet, they ate few calories and lost weight as a result,)

‘Fiber slows the speed of digestion, which makes you feel full and may help you eat less and stay satisfied longer,’ explains Marisa Moore, R.D.N., L.D., a culinary and integrative dietitian. When you feel full after your meal, you’re less likely you reach for a bag of chips or cookies an hour later,’ adds Krista Linares, R.D.N., who specializes in diabetes management and prevention in the Latino community.

In addition to making you feel full, fiber plays another important role in weight loss: ‘Because fiber helps slow down digestion, it also slows down how quickly your body responds to the carbohydrates you eat, and can help you better manage your insulin and blood sugar response to food,’ says Linares.

Fiber is also crucial for digestive and heart health. ‘Fiber is not digestible, so that extra bulk is added to your stool, which helps you  stay regular,’ explains Linares. ‘Having healthy, regular digestion can have long term health benefits such as reducing the risk of colorectal cancers.’ It also keeps your heart healthy by lowering blood pressure,and helping reduce LDL cholesterol, Linares adds.

What is fiber, exactly?

Simply put, fiber is the part of a plant that your body can’t digest (unlike fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, which your digestion system breaks down and absorbs). There are two kinds of fiber, Moore explains: “Soluble fibers hold water and tend to help slow down digestion, while insoluble fiber is key for regularity.” You can find soluble fiber in food such as apples, carrots, peas, beans, and oats. Good sources of insoluble fiber include wheat bran, nuts, cauliflower, brown rice, lentils, and celery.”

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