The link between Dietary Fiber and Weight Loss
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One of the main reasons we fail to stick to a diet is hunger. Trying to ignore that gnawing sensation of hunger, which is actually your brain telling you to eat, is like trying to kick an addiction, it's one of life's most difficult challenges. But it can be defeated by eating certain foods that actually make you feel satisfied longer so you don't get those overpowering hunger pangs.
Dietary Fiber is Key
Dietary fiber is a natural ingredient of high-fiber foods, such as vegetables, salads, fruits and cereals. Soluble fiber (apples, nuts, beans and oatmeal) dissolves in water and delays the digestion process to help keep you feeling full. Alternately, insoluble fiber (vegetables, whole wheat foods and leafy greens) doesn't dissolve in water but facilitates movement of foods through your intestines. Eating foods rich in insoluble fiber maintains energy and hunger levels so you don't feel fatigued and tempted to grab a sugary snack to give you a boost of energy.
Natural Weight Loss Foods rich in fiber include:
+ Bran (oat, corn, wheat and rice)
+ Cooked lima beans
+ Cooked lentils
+ Cooked kidney beans
+ Blackberries and raspberries
+ Air-popped popcorn
+ Cooked bulgur
+ Whole grain pasta
+ Black-eyed peas
+ Frozen green peas
Gradually Add Fiber-Rich Foods to Your Diet
While diving into a high-fiber diet will prevent hunger pangs from sabotaging your diet, it will also give you bouts of gas and bloating until your body adapts to the change in foods. Start by integrating fiber foods into one meal a day and slowly add more fibrous foods every few days. Also remember to drink several glasses of water each day while increasing your dietary fiber. Water enhances the ability of fiber to keep you feeling full.
Tips to Help Your Fiber and Weight Loss Plan:
- Fruit juice contains little to no fiber, eat fruit instead of drinking it
- Snack on carrot sticks, apple slices, celery and fresh berries
- A great high-fiber breakfast includes a bowl of bran cereal with chopped fruit and skim milk
- Choose whole grain foods instead of "wheat only" foods
- Add seeds and tree nuts (pecans, walnuts) to your high-fiber diet, just watch portion sizes because these foods are also high in calories
- Brown rice is a great fibrous food and may also help decrease your risk of developing Type II diabetes
- Bake a pumpkin pie from scratch to snack on, canned pumpkin has almost 15 grams of fiber per half cup
Getting Enough Dietary Fiber Offers Numerous Health Benefits
Did you know that in order to enjoy optimum health, your body needs at least 32 grams of fiber on a daily basis? Most men and women get only about half that amount in their current dietary choices. Fiber is an essential component in your daily diet to ensure good digestive health in addition to keeping your skin well nourished and maintaining good heart health. It's important to include the right amount of good sources for fiber into your menu choices, including vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Getting your daily minimum requirement of fiber will reward you with numerous health benefits.
A high-fiber diet helps to slow down the way the body absorbs sugar and breaks down carbohydrates, helping you maintain a steady blood glucose level rather than experiencing an unhealthy roller-coaster of blood sugar spikes throughout the day. Because fiber helps to control blood sugar levels, there is also less likelihood you will develop painful kidney stones or gall stones that may require surgery. Scientific research has also proven that taking in the proper amount of fiber in your daily foods can lower your risk of heart-attack by as much as 40 percent. If you want to decrease your risk of having a stroke, which can leave you incapacitated or ultimately shorten your lifespan, studies also indicate that you can decrease your likelihood of having a stroke by 7 percent for every additional 7 grams of fiber you add to your diet.
Another great health benefit from dietary fiber is its ability to help you maintain a healthy weight. Eating foods rich in fiber not only slows down how your body metabolizes carbohydrates, but also helps you to consume less calories because fiber-rich foods feel more filling so you can easily stop eating sooner and push away from the table before you actually overeat. And people who are able to maintain a weight level appropriate for their height and build also typically enjoy a lower level of cholesterol in their blood.
A fiber-rich diet also helps to give you a glowing, healthy complexion. Studies have found that consuming fiber found in such foods as psyllium seed husk helps your digestive system excrete fungus and yeast much more quickly. This results in fewer outbreaks of skin rashes and acne. People who pay attention to their daily fiber intake also enjoy a 40 percent decrease in the risk of experiencing a painful inflammation of the intestines called diverticulitis. And there's no need to strain on the toilet when it's time for a bowel movement when you consume enough fiber, because you dramatically decrease your change of getting hemorrhoids which can cause pain and bleeding. Many individuals who suffer from a digestive condition known as IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) find that their symptoms are less intense when they enjoy a high fiber diet.
So the next time you are at the supermarket, make sure you are filling your cart with a variety of whole foods that contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Good soluble fiber choices such as beans, nuts and blueberries, all help to slow down your digestion so you absorb more nutrients that benefit your health. Good food sources of insoluble fiber include carrots, celery, leafy greens and green beans, all of which can add more bulk to your stool and help promote faster elimination of waste materials from the colon.
Benefits of Dietary Fiber: Insoluble vs. Soluble
You probably know that fiber is an important part of a healthy diet, but do you get enough? Adults need 25 to 35 grams of dietary fiber per day. To make that happen, it's important to understand what dietary fiber is, how it works and what health benefits it provides.
Dietary fiber is found in plant-based foods and comes in two types: Soluble and insoluble. Each type offers certain benefits.
This type of fiber is absorbed by water. Soluble fiber draws water to it and creates a gel like substance. When someone says that fiber makes you feel full and helps you stay full longer, they are talking about soluble fiber. Other benefits of soluble fiber include regulating blood sugar and lowering cholesterol.
Sources of dietary fiber include:
- Citrus fruits
Insoluble fiber isn't absorbed by water. It passes through the digestive tract in almost the same form as it started. This type of fiber adds bulk to the diet and is good for digestive health. Insoluble fiber has mild laxative properties and helps prevent constipation. It also helps speed up the passage of food and waste in the digestive tract.
Sources of insoluble fiber include:
- Whole wheat
- Brown Rice
- Dark, leafy greens
Fiber can also aid in weight loss and maintaining a healthy weight. This is partially because it helps you feel full, but also because of the type of foods that contain dietary fiber.
Dietary fiber promotes colon health and reduces the risk of colon cancer. Some of the fiber you eat is fermented in the colon, which can reduce colon disease. Research is still being done on the exact reason fiber is beneficial, but including it in your daily diet will help keep the colon healthy.
The easiest way to ensure you're getting enough fiber in your diet is by eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. If you haven't been eating fiber on a regular basis, adding too much at once may cause bloating and gas. To make the transition easier, try adding a few high fiber foods at a time and increase the amount slowly over time. Increasing your water consumption can also help.
Other ways to increase dietary fiber include eating whole grain cereals, pasta and bread. Increase your consumption of beans and lentils and replace white flour with whole wheat flour.
Avoid too many processed foods and focus on whole, fresh foods and you'll be sure that you're getting plenty of dietary fiber on a daily basis. If you find that difficult you can have a little snack on Max International's Gluten Free Hi-Fiber Bars between meals.