How Fiber Helps You Lose Weight
Its no secret that eating plenty of fiber will help you lose weight. Simply stated, fiber is the part of a plant that is indigestible. Our bodies cannot process and absorb it into the bloodstream for energy. However, its inability to break down is what makes it so effective in keeping the digestive system functioning productively. A productive colon is important when you want to lose weight.
This indigestible substance travels through the intestines after leaving the stomach. It eliminates toxins and waste via bowel movement. Eating plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables gives you the bulk necessary to keep your digestion functioning comfortably and effectively.
Because most disease begins in a sluggish, toxic digestive system, including the right amount of high fiber food helps prevent illness such as constipation, hypertension, and high cholesterol. These can lead to more serious things such as heart disease and colon cancer.
Soluble and Insoluble. Both kinds are necessary to benefit healthy digestion. Soluble helps lower cholesterol and is therefore valuable in the prevention of heart disease. It is effective in preventing constipation, protecting against colon polyps and cancer.
It is named insoluble because it doesn't dissolve in water. It helps keep waste moving through the divestive tract. Its like tiny brooms helping to sweep debris through the intestines.
Eating it is kind of like brushing your teeth. It regularly works to keep your intestines clean. It assists the organs in maintaining the proper pH balance which strengthens the efficiency of digestive enzymes.
This valuable substance is abundant in fruit and vegetable peels, skins, and the coverings of whole grains like wheat bran. It aborbs many times its own weight in water, thereby adding bulk and softness to the stool helping it move along more comfortably.
It is filling, not fattening. Soluble foods require more chewing and satisfies the appetite so you eat less. It stays in the stomach longer, absorbs water, swells, and speeds up the feeling of fullness.
The best choices for losing weight are bran and pectin from fruit. The bulk that is created in the intestines from this insoluble substance absorbs water and can reduce your appetite by making you feel full faster.
Great sources of insoluble foods are:
· Fruits and vegetables (including edible peels)
· Whole-grain breads and cereals
· Nuts and Seeds
· Brown rice and wheat bran
Most of these foods are low in fat and provide a variety of other nutrients, such as antioxidants and vitamins, that may help weight loss and protect against cancer, heart disease, and other illness.
This kind is dissolvable in water and is present in most types of fruit. Because soluble is efficiently absorbed, it helps stabilize blood sugar levels.
Soluble food will turn into a gel-like substance in the digestive tract and work to keep the rate of food passing through the system from progressing too quickly. This is good because it gives nutrients enough time to be absorbed into the bloodstream before the bulk is eliminated. Soluble helps to maintain good cholesterol levels, which promotes healthy heart function.
Soluble food comes in a variety of forms. Pectin, a complex carbohydrate, is concentrated in the rinds, skins, and cores of many fruits. Fruit loses some pectin in the ripening process. It is what helps jams and jellies firm up.
Plant gums and mucilage, found in oatmeal, oat bran, dried peas and beans are closely related and can also provide the hickening ability. Soluble fiber absorbs water in the intestines, mixes the food into a gel, and thereby slows the rate of glucose digestion and consequent absorption in the bloodstream. This process gives a feeling of fullness.
The health benefits of soluble fiber are numerous.
· Reduces "Bad" Cholesterol
By including soluble in your diet, you may lower the level of plaque-forming LDL cholesterol in your blood. As it passes through the gastrointestinal tract, it binds to bile acids, which are made of cholesterol, and carries them through the intestines, thereby lessening the amount of cholesterol the body absorbs. Because of its potential effects on cholesterol level, it is considered a valuable tool in the management of heart disease.
· Help Your Digestive System
It is effective in maintaining the proper functioning of the digestive system by promoting regularity, which in turn helps to protect against colon and colorectal cancer, diverticulitis, IBS, and the creation of gallstones.
· Diabetes Management
When consumed in large amounts, soluble helps in the management of diabetes by slowing the absorption of glucose from the small intestine.
Soluble fiber is found in the following foods:
· Dried beans
· Beets and Carrots
· Cranberries, Gooseberries, Red Currents
· Grapefruit and Oranges
· Concord grapes
· Rye, Barley and Oats (oat bran, oatmeal)
· Peaches and Pears
· Plums, Prunes, and Quinces
· Psyllium husk
· Sesame seeds
Note: Most high fiber foods are low in fat and have a variety of other nutrients, such as antioxidants and vitamins, that help protect against cancer, heart disease, and other serious health conditions.
Basically, 25 to 30 grams per day is ideal. If your daily fiber intake is 10 grams or less, increase your intake slowly to minimize the chance for gas or constipation.
You may need to increase your water intake to help it pass through comfortably. If you develop diarrhea or loose stool, slow down on your consumption and add it more slowly.
Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries (1 cup provides up to 1/3 of your goal of at least 25 grams per day),
High-fiber crackers. 2 Ak Mak® crackers contain 3.5 grams.
Fiber One®, All Bran®, or Kashi® GoLean Crunch cereals provide up to 10 grams per cup.
100-percent whole-wheat bread gives at least 3 grams per slice.
Thomas' Multi-Grain Lite English Muffins® are only 100 calories and 8 grams along with 5 grams of protein. A nutritional powerhouse!
Although healthy substance is not a magic bullet, a high fiber diet that includes a sensible, balanced, nutrient dense meal plan can really tip the scales and give you loads of nutrition and health benefits while losing weight.