Fiber in Weight Loss
Everyone knows that when you're in need of helping your um, regularity come out all right, then you need to get more fiber into your diet. But did you know that fiber can actually help you to lose weight?
It's true! That yummy, filling food is actually good for you and promotes weight-loss! How, you ask? Simple. Fiber is, ultimately, a bulking agent. Fiber is one of the only plant-based foods that our bodies cannot digest. We cannot absorb its caloric value, and fiber does not provide us with nutrients. Nada, zilch, zip! We, as human beings, lack the enzyme necessary to break down fiber. But rather than detrimenting our bodies as a result of being inabsorable, fiber actually helps to filter the toxins from our bodies. Therefore, fiber is not only a natural laxative, but also a way to detox your body.
There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves and breaks down in water. It is like a sponge; it is absorbent. It absorbs bile in the intestinal tract. The body uses bile as its fast-moving way of ridding the body of excess cholesterol, estrogen, used red blood cells and toxins. By absorbing the bile, soluble fiber helps with the movement of these wastes from the body. Thus, soluble fiber can help lower cholesterol, as well as regulate blood sugar. Soluble fiber adsorbs excess calories and has a flushing effect on your system.
Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, does not break down in water. This fiber type helps promote bowel movement regularity, by adding bulk and resistance for the colon. It acts as a swab that helps to clean the colon of matter and impurities. Additional bulk of the insoluble fiber actually stimulates the contractions of the colon, moving waste toward bowel elimination more readily and successfully. It also helps to control the bacterial balance of the colon. There are certain types of bacterium that are directly linked to obesity. So, regularly emptying of your colon may help weight loss for many reasons.
The benefits of fiber are shown by examining different cultures. Many high-fiber consuming populations tend to have better overall health than populations which consume less fiber. in populations of high fiber consumerism, the people tend to be slimmer and less prone to certain types of diseases. It is theorized this is because fiber-rich foods tend to be better for you, as well as fiber aiding in less calories consumed in a given day and daily flushing of toxins from the system via emptying of accumulated matter.
Increasing your daily intake of fiber also helps to promote weight-loss, because fiber makes you feel full sooner and keeps you feeling full longer than the foods with a lower content of fiber that you may eat. However, fiber does not alter the digestion rate or slow the emptying of the stomach contents. Diets rich with fiber tend to be low in calories, as a result. The feeling of full sooner and longer negates unwanted snacking or binge-eating, and subsequently reduces daily caloric intake - which is essential for shedding pounds. You're eating less and feeling less hungry. Fiber also helps to move fat through your digestive tract faster, and thusly, less fat is absorbed by your body.
It is recommended that we have 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day, at minimum level. If you currently are of a low fiber consumption level, then you must increase your intake slowly and gradually. Overloading your body with fiber, before your body becomes used to it, will result in abdominal discomfort associated with excess gas production. Be sure to increase your water consumption, as the risk of constipation may be prevalent due to additional bulk. If after introducing more fiber into your diet, you're noticing loose stools or diarrhea, reduce your fiber intake immediately.
Poor eating habits are the leading cause of disease, disabilities and death in the U.S., as of today. A healthy diet has been observed to effectively and even completely reverse certain diseases or illnesses. Fiber promotes regular bowel movements and the warding of certain diseases and illnesses. 35 grams of fiber or more a day can help to reduce your chances of these illnesses. Each 10 grams of fiber that you increase in your diet, will decrease your risk of heart attack by 14%! The health benefits don't end here. An increase of 10 grams of fiber will also reduce your chances of developing diabetes by 26%! People who have a high-fiber diet are less likely to suffer a stroke than those of a low-fiber consumption demographic. The consumption of high levels of fiber is directly related to prevention and/or reducing the risks many types of cancer, including: colon, stomach, pancreatic and even breast cancer. Fiber also improves your immunity system which is in direct correlation with a heightened metabolism, so again, fiber is a fat-fighting food. Fiber also helps you to maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and promotes bowel regularity which aids in purifying the body on a daily basis.
How can one increase one's daily fiber intake? No, you don't have to munch on bran muffins all day long - although, those are a great source of fiber. The best way to ensure you are consuming enough fiber, is simply by increasing your raw food consumption. And that doesn't mean eating raw meat or dairy! In fact, meat and dairy have absolutely no fiber value, whatsoever. Raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole bran and grains are fiber-rich foods, having both soluble and insoluble fiber, and are loaded in nutrients.
Start your day off with whole grain cereal or a bran muffin to help keep you full until snack time or lunch, and to help keep your body ready to dispense of toxins and excess calories. Eating a diet rich in fiber helps keep blood sugar levels consistent, and makes you less likely to overeat.
Remember to eat more natural foods. When choosing foods containing fiber, opt for the ones using words like "whole grain" or "cracked wheat". These are keyword that indicate the foods retain the complete kernel, which is the source of fiber. One serving of a whole grain bread slice is more filling that two servings of white. This is because white bread or bleached grains are depleted of their fiber content. Stay away from foods that tout the phrase "enriched". These are foods that are heavily processed and refined, and are stripped of fiber. These foods serve your body absolutely no purpose and actually promote weight-gain. Refined, processed foods quickly turn into glucose (blood sugar) and incorrectly alert your body to start storing fat rather than burning fat. This is what is known as a spike in insulin. This is very dangerous, because after the insulin spikes, the insulin then drops, leaving you fatigued and ever the more hungry. This promotes weight gain and a continual cycle of binge-eating and other types of disturbed eating patterns. Because of the ill-effects of these foods, your body is also devastated by a lowered metabolism which will make you retain all calories consumed.
Simple steps to increase your daily intake of fiber, and to avoid fiber-depleted foods, are by choosing whole grains over processed. Choose brown rice over white, as brown rice contains fiber and white rice does not. Other foods, such as barley and flaxseed, are loaded in fiber, as well. Red beans are a key source of fiber. There are even supplements, wafers and powders which are said to be packed with fibers. However, these supplements are not always good, as these supplements are often enriched and can be stripped first of fiber and then over-processed. Your body cannot recognize the supplement as fiber, as it would a piece of fruit. Natural sources of fiber are better.
Adding fiber to your diet, however, is not the sole way that fiber fights fat. You must be sure that when increasing your fiber intake, you are still on a low-calorie nutrient-rich diet, properly hydrated, and exercising regularly.