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Thursday, October 16, 2014
High Fiber Foods: Secret to Weight Loss
Weight loss is one of the most popular topics today in the health food world and it’s also on many people’s annual to-do lists. Food companies know this and market unhealthy foods as ‘health foods’ or ‘weight-loss friendly foods’ in order to lure consumers into buying them.
However studies have shown that the most beneficial nutrient for losing weight isn’t found in a pill or a box of low-calorie granola bars. It’s merely natural fiber from plants that seems to have the most long-term and healthiest weight loss results of all. (1)
How Fiber Helps You Lose The Most Weight
Fiber fills you up very fast, which leads to an increase in satiety much quicker than sugar and processed foods. (2)
Fiber from fruits and vegetables specifically satisfy you on fewer calories than from other sources as well. Fiber contains no digestible calories, so any amounts of carbohydrates derived from fiber will not be stored as excess calories. Instead, it will be excreted from the body. This not only aids in digestion but also boosts metabolism because the body burns calories when excreting the fiber out of the body. (3)
Scientific American documented a study conducted by Harvard Health, which showed those who consumed the most fiber from whole plant-based foods lost more weight and kept it off than those who ate processed sources of fiber. Researchers said that more studies still need to be done, but consuming more plant-based foods is a good idea for all measures of good health. (4)
What Are the Highest Sources of Fiber?
The fiber all stars are plant-based which includes apples, pears, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, chia seeds, hemp seeds, artichokes, asparagus, flax seeds, oats, beans, and legumes. (5,6) Fruits and vegetables are lower in calories than whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes; however, all natural plant-based sources of fiber make a good choice and are better than processed options! (4)
How Much Is Enough?
Generally, most people should be eating 20-30 grams of fiber per day to get the daily-recommended amounts, however, up to 40 grams or higher may be beneficial for those looking to lose weight. Fiber may cause some additional digestive activity; therefore, it’s best to introduce it slowly into your diet and adjusts the amounts over time. Fiber has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and low blood sugar. (7)