Feeling hungry is a big challenge when attempting to lose weight. This is where fiber comes in. Eating high-fiber diet may help you achieve your weight loss goal and improve overall wellness.
Humans simply cannot digest fiber. Fiber is an excellent go to carbohydrate for slimming down, control blood sugar levels or curb cravings, and as a bonus fiber may also help reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. It is especially important to include fiber when following a gluten-free diet since fiber-rich grains such as wheat, rye and barley are not gluten-free
Women need approximately 25 grams of fiber per day and men should aim for 38 grams according to the Institute of Medicine. Currently, the average intake of fiber per adult is less than 15 grams per day. This is due to poor diets consisting of mostly processed food, lack of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
There are two types of fibers soluble (dissolves in liquid)) and insoluble used as bulking agent both are equally necessary for good health.
- Soluble fiber is found in beans, nuts, fruit and vegetables
- Insoluble fiber is found in the skins of fruits, brown rice, whole wheat and seeds.
Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a mass of gel during digestion, which slows down the digestive process, keeping you full longer after eating, and helping you eat less throughout the day.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve or absorb in liquid. It passes through our digestive system in its original form, thus helping our intestinal health such as reducing constipation and hemorrhoids
To increase your daily intake of fiber simply add whole foods to your favourite meals or merely swap your everyday foods for high fiber ones
EASY WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR DAILY FIBER
SWAP THIS FOR THAT
Sweet potatoes for white potatoes
Fresh fruit for fruit juice
Almonds for raisins
Fruit smoothies for milkshakes
Quinoa for Brown rice
Buckwheat flour for corn flour
Cabbage for lettuce
Cooked Broccoli for cooked brussel sprouts
Raspberries for strawberries
Green Peas for carrots
Fruit cobblers for cakes
ADD HIGH FIBER FOODS TO YOUR DIET
Seeds and nuts: such as chia, pumpkin seeds, hemp, almonds, ground flax
Low carb high fiber vegetables: such as fennel, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, chard, spinach, celery, and radishes
Low carb high fiber fruits: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, cherries,
Beans and lentils: these are all powerhouses
Gluten-Free, high fiber whole grains: quinoa, buckwheat, corn, and brown rice
CAUTION WITH FIBER
It is important to increase your fiber gradually and with plenty of fluids to avoid uncomfortable digestive side effects such as bloating constipation and cramps. Also, stick to recommended daily amounts of fiber. If you eat fiber regularly more than recommended daily amount it could lead to deficiencies of important nutrients because of absorption difficulties.
In conclusion, following a high-fiber diet may be as effective for weight loss as a diet that limits calories, sodium, sugar and saturated fats as per study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. Also, high fiber food in terms of volume is lower in calories than low fiber food as per Mayo Clinic