One of the more confusing aspects of nutrition and healthy eating is fiber. Most people in Syracuse know that it is necessary for good overall health and colon health, but it is also beneficial for weight loss. Of course, simply stating that fiber is good for weight loss isn’t going to help too many people, so let’s get into some beneficial sources and amounts to get the weight loss process moving.
Good Sources of Fiber
Foods that are derived from plants are the only true sources of fiber. These include fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and grains. No meats, dairy products or processed foods are naturally high in fiber, so keeping your attention focused in the plant world is your best bet.
Some of the best sources of fiber you’ll find include various types of beans, dried prunes, apples, pears, dark leafy greens, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, broccoli and whole grains. There are two types of fiber; soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and is beneficial for lowering LDL cholesterol, lowering your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease and regulating blood sugar. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water and helps to prevent constipation and keep you regular.
How Much Do I Need?
Studies show that the average American adult consumes about 15 grams of fiber each day. This may sound like a decent amount, but women need roughly 25 grams per day and men need 38 grams per day to maintain optimum health. Consistently being 10 to 20 grams short on a daily basis can add up over time and cause some serious problems, including weight gain.
Why It Helps
High fiber foods aid in weight loss a couple different ways. The added bulk helps you to feel full longer, so you won’t overeat and take in excess calories. High fiber foods also usually require more chewing, which causes you to eat slower and will help you realize that you’ve eaten enough before you eat more. High fiber foods are usually lower in fat and sugar, too.
It is important to rely mainly on whole foods for your fiber, and avoid overly processed grains and low fiber foods if you are trying to lose weight. White flour and processed, high carbohydrate snack foods can stimulate your appetite and you can just eat and eat without feeling full at all. There are a multitude of high fiber snacks and meals out there, if you are motivated to look for them. Successful weight loss requires dedication on several different fronts, and adding more fiber to your diet can certainly complement your other efforts.
Our weight loss team at Elevated Health is here to help. Feel free to contact us with any questions you have.