The benefits of fiber rich diets have been touted for quite some time for weight loss. There are numerous scientific studies that show fiber does aid in weight loss as well as many other health benefits.
Not only does fiber help fill you up, it also helps you feel full longer. In addition fiber contains “an anti-appetite molecule called acetate that is naturally released when we digest fiber in the gut. Once released, the acetate is transported to the brain where it produces a signal to tell us to stop eating.” 1
How Much Fiber Do I Need?
On average, daily adult intake of fiber is 7 – 16 grams, while dietary guidelines suggest 20 – 30 grams. Newer guidelines now recommend:
|Age 50 under||Age 50+|
|Women||25 g||21 g|
|Men||38 g||30 g|
The types of fiber are:
– dissolves in water to form a gel and slows digestion. It can help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels and aids the body in detoxification. Soluble fiber is found in apples, barley, beans, carrots, citrus fruits, oats, peas, and psyllium.
– promotes the movement of food and wastes through your digestive system and increases stool bulk. Good for constipation or irregular stools. Whole-wheat flour, wheat bran, nuts, beans and vegetables, such as cauliflower, green beans and sweet potatoes are good sources of insoluble fiber.
Many fruits, vegetables and whole foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. This type of fiber combination is fantastic for weight loss as well as your immune system. It achieves this by feeding the trillions of microbes that help in digestion and makes up 75 – 80% of your immune system.
Perhaps that is why the adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” came about.
Fiber Rich Foods Health Bonus Benefits
Fiber rich foods are also shown to:
• Reduce Cholesterol
• Lower Cardiovascular disease risks
• Reduce heart disease risks
• Reduce Type 2 Diabetes risks
• Improve insulin sensitivity
• Reduce blood pressure
• Reduce inflammation
• Reduce morbidity
Quick side note: If you are accustomed to a low fiber diet, use caution when adapting a high fiber diet. Too much of a sudden high fiber change can cause digestive distress (bloating, gas and major constipation). Ease into the high fiber diet slowly and drink more water to counter the possibility of constipation.
Highest Fiber Rich Foods
Foods that have 5 grams or more of fiber per serving are considered high fiber foods. Good fiber foods have 2.5 – 5 grams or 3 – 5 grams per serving depending on the source. The charts below list the top 3 per high fiber food (5 g) per category to get you started.
Want an easy-remember visual guide of these fiber benefits? Check out the full infographic here!