Fiber: Your Key to Weight Loss?
What if there were a nutrient that helped keep you full, guided you to making better food choices, and made weight loss easier? Well…there is! Fiber is a carbohydrate, but it’s different than other carbs. Your body doesn’t digest it, and that’s why it has all kinds of benefits for weight loss and health. Here’s how fiber can help you lose weight, and where you can get it.
An Underestimated Weight Loss Nutrient
Sometime it seems as though protein gets all the attention. Granted, it’s important: it helps keep you full and supports your metabolism. But fiber should also get some credit. People who eat more fiber tend to have lower body weights. It’s no accident. Fiber is in filling foods. Plus, it helps keep blood sugar levels stable to help prevent sharp drops in blood sugar, along with carb cravings and sudden feelings of hunger.
Other Health Benefits
Fiber helps you lose weight, and losing weight can lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and risk for diabetes. Fiber also has direct health effects. It can lower your cholesterol levels by blocking absorption of cholesterol from your diet. It can also stabilize blood sugar levels.
Best Dietary Sources
The simple strategy of pairing a protein with a vegetable or fruit at each meal and snack, and sprinkling in the occasional servings of healthy starches and fats, can help you hit your fiber goals. That’s because you can find dietary fiber in all kinds of healthy plant-based foods.
- Vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, and eggplant.
- Fruit, such as berries, apples, pears, cantaloupe, and oranges.
- Peanuts and nuts, such as almonds, Brazil nuts, and pistachios.
- Legumes, such as kidney, black, pinto, and garbanzo beans, green and yellow split peas, and lentils.
- Whole grains, such as whole grain pasta and bread, brown rice, popcorn, and whole grain breakfast cereal.
- Starchy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and winter squash.
When you look at the best dietary sources of fiber, you can see that they’re also some of the most nutritious foods you can choose. For example, along with fiber, nuts provide protein and healthy fats. Fruits and vegetables provide antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins A and C, and beans are rich in protein, iron, and the blood pressure-lowering mineral potassium. Whole grains may be high in carbs, but they’re good to include in moderation because of their B vitamins and antioxidants.
The average American falls far short of the recommendations for fiber, and you may find yourself in the same boat, especially if you’re watching calories and cutting back your portions to lose weight. The BariatricPal Store can help you hit those fiber goals, though, with fiber supplements that fit into your lifestyle. For example…
- Fiber powders in flavors such as cinnamon bun, lemon iced tea, and pomegranate berry – just add to water or milk.
- Protein bars with fiber – what a nice treat anytime of day.
- Protein cereals and chips that also have fiber in them – a great way to start the day and get you through it!
If you are going to think about one nutrient after protein, you might want to put your attention on fiber. It can help satisfy you, help you lose weight, and even improve your health in countless ways. Plenty of healthy foods have fiber, and you can always opt for great-tasting and convenient supplements that are bars or drinks.
- Alex Brecher