Fiber is an integral part of a healthy diet. It promotes regular bowel movements and general intestinal health. Eating a high-fiber diet keeps cholesterol levels in check and promotes healthy blood sugar levels, a key to preventing and managing diabetes. Eating a high fiber diet is also a great way to drop those extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
Does Fiber Make You Lose Weight?
Fiber in and of itself does not contain anything that will make you lose weight. It does nothing to melt fat or speed up your metabolism. Rather, eating a diet high in fiber produces effects that will aid you in losing weight and keeping it off.
Fiber-Rich Foods Have Bulk
One of the keys to successful weight loss is curbing hunger and avoiding overeating. Fiber-rich foods provide bulk and help you feel satisfied; you will eat less during your meals and feel full longer between meals.
Fiber-Rich Foods Have Low-Energy Density
Foods high in fiber are low in energy density, meaning there are fewer calories in a larger amount of food. Eating a fiber-rich diet allows you to eat large portion sizes so you feel satisfied without eating excess calories that thwart your weight loss efforts.
Research Finds People Who Eat More Fiber are Thinner
According to WebMD, research has shown that people who eat more fiber-dense foods eat fewer calories throughout the day and tend to be thinner. Eating a fiber-rich breakfast appears to be especially beneficial.
Fiber-Rich Foods Take Longer to Eat
When we start eating a meal, it can take awhile for our satiety signals—the signals that let us know we are full—to kick in. During this lag, many of us are eating way more than we need to and we do not realize it until a little while later when we feel uncomfortably full from eating way too much. Does this experience sound familiar? Fiber-rich foods take longer to chew. When we are eating more slowly, we give those fullness signals time to reach us before we eat way more than we actually need to.
Fruits and Vegetables High in Fiber
The most fiber-rich vegetables include dark leafy greens, squash, peas, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and potatoes. Berries take the cake when it comes to fiber-rich fruits, providing between three and 10 grams per cup.
Other Fiber-Rich Foods
Legumes and beans are great sources of fiber, with most providing at least 10 grams per cup. Choose whole grains such as brown rice, whole wheat, barley, amaranth, millet, quinoa and bulgur over refined, white-flour products. Bran products of all kinds are also great sources of fiber, such as wheat bran, corn bran and oat bran.
Fiber Requirements for Men
Men have higher fiber needs than women. The ideal amount daily would be between 30 and 38 grams daily.
Fiber Requirements for Women
Women should consume between 21 and 25 grams a day.
Focus on Food, Not Supplements
The benefits of fiber for weight loss purposes are linked to consuming it in the diet, so supplements really will not help in the way they may help for other issues, such as constipation or meeting daily requirements for general health.
Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who specializes in health and wellness content. Check out this site for great information on