Fiber is one of the single most effective ways to help people lose weight, but the simplicity of its contribution to weight loss is often overlooked. Aside from any direct result, adding more fiber into the diet also has many overall health benefits, so understanding its role in the body is pretty important. That’s why when it comes to weight loss, fiber is one element of a person’s daily food intake that should be a focal point, rather than just a secondary consideration.
One of the biggest problems when you are trying to lose weight is that feeling of being hungry. This is where fiber can really help bolster your weight loss success. Filling your body with fibrous foods slows digestion, which helps you stay full longer, and helps keeps those hunger pangs at bay. In addition, fibrous foods are generally lower in calories than other high fat, high protein options – and that means you can eat more food without overdoing your calorie intake.
Some foods that have a high fiber content include:
- Peas (split peas, green peas)
- Bran flakes
- Whole grain pastas
- Beans (lentils, black beans, lima beans, baked beans, etc.)
- Brussels sprouts
- Pears (skin on)
- Apples (skin on)
In addition to providing more food volume for a lower calorie count, high fiber foods also help to lower blood cholesterol. Since most fiber is not absorbed in the body, it is said to lower cholesterol by preventing the absorption of bile in the intestines, which causes the body to pull cholesterol out of the bloodstream to make bile salts as a result. It’s a complicated process, but that is just one way fiber can lower your blood cholesterol. Another way in which researchers have theorized why fiber reduces cholesterol is because of the ability of soluble fiber to cause the body to produce short-chain fatty acids during its fermentation, which is said to possibly inhibit the liver’s production of cholesterol.
When it comes to losing weight, keeping your blood cholesterol low for better heart health can only help you in your weight loss goals. A better functioning body and the ability to keep your hunger from causing snacking and binging on unnecessary foods are two of the best ways to help you lose weight more quickly, and keep it off for good.
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