Understanding Dietary Fiber and Weight Loss

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Maintaining the general health of the body is the best way to lose weight and also to maintain your ideal body composition. Nutrition goes hand in hand with moderate exercise and relaxation as well as correct breathing, adequate, fresh air, water, sunlight, and quality sleep.

Also important to remember is, a stressed body holds onto fat.

This particular article is part one in a series and focuses on the importance of good fats and fiber in the diet.

Dietary Fiber

There are two types of plant fiber, soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber acts like a sponge, absorbing fluid and making the bowel contents softer and able to move more easily. It also helps lower blood cholesterol and improves blood glucose control. Insoluble fiber acts as a ‘bulking agent’ which, with soluble fiber, helps to keep us regular. This effect is useful in the treatment of conditions such as constipation, diverticular disease, and hemorrhoids. (1)

Soluble fiber is found in apples and pears, raw salad vegetables, whole-grain cereals, Psyllium Seeds, guar gum, Kiwifruit, and Slippery Elm Bark. It improves intestinal health, alleviates constipation and importantly regulates sugar absorption from the gut. This blood sugar regulation is vital for weight loss and health in general.

Here is a list of the components of dietary fiber according to the American Association of Cereal Chemists. (2)

  • Non Starch Polysaccharides and Oligosaccharides
  • Cellulose
  • Hemicellulose
  • Arabinoxylans
  • Arabinogalactans
  • Polyfructoses
  • Inulin
  • Oligofructans
  • Galacto-oligosaccharides
  • Gums
  • Mucilages
  • Pectins

We don’t have time to discuss all of these here but I will mention a couple of my favorites.

Apple pectin
Apples and Citrus fruit contain a fiber called pectin. Inside the GI tract, pectin maintains this ability to form a gel or thicken a solution. This is thought to be the likely mechanism behind its many beneficial effects on health including dumping syndrome, improved cholesterol and lipid metabolism, and diabetes prevention and control. (2)

Mucilage
Mucilage is a gel-like fiber found in herbs like Psyllium husk. Adding Psyllium to the diet may reduce the Glycemic Index of carbohydrate foods and may help diabetic control. (3) Psyllium husk preparations may be a therapeutic option for patients with mild to moderately elevated cholesterol levels. (4) This indicates that Psyllium husk will help to balance blood sugars and blood fats, which are very important when attempting to control weight.

Dietary Fiber and Weight loss

Substantial research has been conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary fiber and body weight, most all of which show an inverse relationship between dietary fiber intake and change in body weight. Tucker and Thomas supported this statement in a study consisting of 252 middle-aged women. They observed that over a 20 month period participants lost an average of 4.4 lbs due to an 8 g increase in dietary fiber per 1000 kcal. This weight loss was primarily due to decreased body fat. (2)

Studies show clear and multiple benefits from the dietary incorporation of fiber supplements and natural foods and grains on metabolic syndrome, which presents with abdominal obesity. (2)

Adequate plant fiber intake is, therefore, a crucial part of any natural, sustainable weight loss program.

The recommended amount of fiber per day is 25g for women and 30g for men each day. 

Try some of these high fiber foods on a regular basis.
High Fibre Food Chart

 

Full Body Detox

We also recommend a Herbal DETOX as a great kick-start to a weight loss program. Many people have reported losing several kilos of weight from doing this high-fiber, herbal cleanse. This is weight loss by eliminating built-up fecal matter rather than just fat but because the intestines are cleared digestion is improved and the body is enabled to function better.

Because the Detox diet is high fiber, full of good fats and low in processed sugar and trans-fats, blood sugar and cholesterol are balanced beautifully.

Dietary guidelines are learned for a continued healthy eating style in the user guide and recipe book. Vegetarian diet plans and vegan diets can fit perfectly into this type of body cleansing program as well.

4-5kg weight loss is average the result and is due to a general improvement in the overall health and vitality of the body.

Find out more about this program

Brett Elliott ®

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