The link between Dietary Fiber and Weight Loss

Adequate dietary fiber can help with 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.

Soluble Fiber

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:

  • Oatmeal
  • Carrots
  • Lentils
  • Apples
  • Citrus fruits
  • Psyllium

Insoluble Fiber

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
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Brown Rice
  • Broccoli
  • 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.

Please Note: The information contained within this website has not been evaluated by the USA Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If you have any concerns about the suitability of Max International products or any other nutritional supplements may we suggest that you seek advice from a qualified medical professional. Max International Nutritional Supplements are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Meta Weight Loss and Fiber

What Is Fiber?

Fiber is found primarily in plant-based foods, and it plays an important role in maintaining a healthy digestive system. It is the indigestible portion of food found in whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits and vegetables. It has no calories because the body cannot break it down and digest it. Fiber forms the main part of faeces and helps to push all the waste out of the body. A diet high in fiber has been shown to reduce weight, maintain low cholesterol levels and help to control diabetes.

A diet high in fiber has to be accompanied by a lot of water. Without water, the fiber can get stuck in the digestive system and cause great discomfort. By drinking adequate amounts of water, the faeces is softened, which helps it pass out easily preventing constipation and haemorrhoids.

Different Types of Fiber and What They Do

Fiber is sometimes referred to as bulk or roughage, but this is deceptive because there are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.

Insoluble fiber can be called bulk or roughage because it passes right through the digestive system without being digested. It consists of hemicelluloses, lignin and cellulose, which is what the material of the structural part of a plant cell wall is made of. This is the most important role of insoluble fiber.

Foods high in insoluble fiber are: skins of fruits and vegetables, wheat bran, rice bran, corn bran, nuts, seeds, whole grains and dried beans.

Soluble fiber, however, is not bulky at all and turns into a gel like substance when it combines with the digestive juices. It consists of pectin, gums and mucilage, which are found primarily in plant cells.

Foods high in soluble fiber are: oatmeal, apples, oranges, strawberries, blueberries, pears, lentils, nuts, beans, celery, carrots and cucumbers.

Both types of fiber play an important role in keeping the digestive tract and the rest of the body in good health.

A Third Fiber: Resistant Starch

While not normally considered a fiber, resistant starch plays a similar role to fiber in the body. It makes up approximately 10 percent of starchy food. Resistant starch resists the normal digestion process in the small intestine. In the large bowel, bacteria ferment and convert the resistant starch into short-chain fatty acids. This proves to be important for bowel health as these fatty acids may protect against bowel cancer. They also get absorbed into the bloodstream, which may help to lower blood cholesterol levels.

Resistant starch is found in unripe bananas, potatoes, lentils, and unprocessed grains and cereals. It is also added to breakfast cereals and breads as Hi-Maize.

Why Fibre is Important

A diet high in fiber has been shown to:

  • Reduce LDL cholesterol levels

  • Reduce blood pressure

  • Reduce risk of heart disease

  • Reduce risk of diabetes

  • Maintain blood sugar levels

  • Maintain a healthier weight

Diseases that can arise from a diet low in fiber range from just uncomfortable, such as constipation and irritable bowel syndrome, to very serious, such as some cancers, heart disease and diverticulitis. In countries where people eat a diet traditionally high in fiber, it has been seen that coronary heart disease, bowel cancer and diabetes are much less common.

Most folks in developed countries like Australian, Canada, United States of America and the U.K. are only getting 20 to 25 grams of fibre a day, and this is below the daily recommended amount. The Heart Foundation recommends that each day:

  • Adults need 25 to 30 grams
  • Girls aged 9 to 13 years need 20 grams
  • Boys aged 9 to 13 years need 24 grams
  • Girls aged 14 to 18 years need 22 grams
  • Boys aged 14 to 18 years need 28 grams
  • Children 4 to 8 years need 18 grams

Fiber and Disease

Fiber helps to maintain a healthy digestive system, which is the basis of a healthy body. However, the effects of fiber are both direct and indirect. Foods high in fiber are also packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and they are naturally low in cholesterol. These attributes of high fiber foods are essential to fight against cancer and many other diseases.

Heart Disease: Soluble fiber helps to lower LDL (bad) blood cholesterol by interfering in the absorption of cholesterol in the diet. Lower cholesterol levels prevent heart disease.

Cancer: Fiber has been shown to help reduce colon cancer. Because fiber pushes digested food through the gastro-intestinal tract more quickly, it reduces the contact time with potential toxins in the colon. The high water content with the fiber also dilutes possible carcinogens. Fiber also encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the colon.

Weight Control: Foods high in fiber also have fewer kilojoules for each gram of food. When you eat a diet high in fiber, it also means: you are eating fewer kilojoules, it will take longer to eat the food and it will keep you feeling full longer. When soluble fiber forms a gel, it slows down the digestive process. Need to lose weight, then you really should add foods that are high in natural fibre to your regular diet. If hungry between meals try Max International's healthy Curb Slimming Bar, it's hi-fiber and Gluten Free.

Diabetes: Fiber contributes to one of the essential processes in the body, stabilising glucose levels. Because foods high in fiber stay in the stomach longer, it helps to keep blood glucose levels steady.

Don't miss out on the benefits of fiber. It is an essential part of a healthy diet and actually very easy to incorporate into your day. Some simple ways to include fiber in your diet are:

  • Eating oats, barley or whole wheat cereal for breakfast

  • Replace a snack with an apple or any fruit

  • Add nuts and seeds to your lunch

  • Add a raw vegetable to your dinner

  • Try Max's Curb Slimming Bar