It may not sound glamorous, but fiber is one of those easy natural weight loss tricks that often gets overlooked.
It has multiple benefits if you want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight as you age:
- The recommended daily intake of fiber is 20 g to 35 g, depending on your age and sex.
- Fiber in food can either be soluble or insoluble. Soluble fiber (meaning it dissolves in water) has been shown to help lower blood cholesterol and is found in so many healthy foods like beans, oatmeal, lentils, and peas, rice bran, farro, citrus fruits, raspberries. Soluble fiber is king when it comes to digestive health because it can lower the risk of diarrhea, constipation, abdominal bloating and other inflammatory disease cause by unhealthy colon.
- Insoluble fiber (doesn’t dissolve in water) does not lower blood cholesterol and is not recommended for IBS sufferers, but it is important in keeping the bowels healthy, easing constipation and diverticular disease. Foods high in insoluble fiber include whole-wheat breads, whole-grain cereals, and whole bran. Other examples are cabbage, beets, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and the skin of fruits like apples.
Fiber Calms Hunger
Fiber expands in your stomach when it comes in contact with water — imagine old-fashioned oats expanding in warm water. Not only does fiber expand in your stomach, but it also slows your digestion and uptake of nutrients into your body, which means that fiber helps to regulate blood sugar levels — a boon for anyone who is at risk for diabetes or anyone who wants to burn calories at a more efficient rate.
Fiber Is Low in Calories
Naturally high fiber fruits and vegetables — like berries, apples, pears, artichokes, and broccoli — are very low in calories. They can be eaten plain or turned into hundreds of tasty recipes. Fiber supplements are also a healthy choice when used as part of a healthy eating plan. The active ingredient in most supplements is psyllium husk, a natural plant fiber that is a great source of soluble fiber.