Fiber for weight loss and health: what is the need for its use
Fiber is the dietary fiber that is contained in all products of plant origin: vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes. What is Dietary Plant Fiber? This is the part of the plant that is not digested, but has a positive effect on the physiological processes in our body. So, what is dietary fiber for, does fiber contribute to weight loss and what foods does it contain?
Fiber is not digested by the gastrointestinal tract. Our enzymes are unable to break down dietary fiber, so they reach the intestines unchanged. However, there they are processed by the beneficial intestinal microflora. therefore fiber is useful for losing weight, and for the normal functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, and for cleansing the body of harmful toxins.
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General information about fiber
Fiber is an indispensable substance for humans, but with the development of the food industry in the usual diet, it became sorely lacking. Today, the world is going through an era of recycled or refined products that are just cleared of fiber. For example, after processing, white polished rice is obtained from brown rice, premium flour or instant porridge is obtained from various cereals, and juices, preserves and jams are obtained from fruits. Or even take the most trivial example: refined sugar is obtained from cane sugar. Thus, food is deprived of dietary fiber during processing.
All this greatly facilitates the preparation of food and its consumption. But along with the progress and the appearance on store shelves of a large variety of refined products, humanity is faced with the problem of a lack of fiber in the body. That is why products such as bran, which contain a record amount of dietary fiber, are becoming more popular.
Fiber in foods can be soluble or insoluble:
- Soluble dietary fiber: on contact with water turns into a jelly-like form. Soluble dietary fiber includes legumes, vegetables, fruits, and algae.
- Insoluble Dietary Fiber: remain unchanged even in contact with water. These include grain products, seeds.
For the normal functioning of the body, it is necessary to consume both soluble and insoluble plant fibers. They serve different purposes and are not always interchangeable.
8 benefits of fiber for weight loss and health
- Adequate fiber intake is significant reduces appetite. Insoluble fiber fills the entire stomach under the action of gastric juice and provides a feeling of fullness for a long time. This is one of the main benefits of eating fiber for weight loss.
- Insoluble fiber normalizes bowel function, prevents putrefaction and facilitates easy emptying. This is especially true for those who eat a lot of foods that are hard to digest and can even cause constipation (among them, not only “harmful” sweets and fast food, but also, for example, meat and dairy products).
- With the help of soluble fiber from the body slags and toxic substances are removed. Fiber is especially important for weight loss. Getting rid of excess fat leads to the release of toxic substances in the body, and dietary fiber helps to cleanse the body of toxins.
- Fiber foods slow down the absorption of sugars once they enter the intestines, thereby decreasing insulin production and lowering the glycemic index of foods. For example, brown rice has a glycemic index of 50, and polished white rice has a glycemic index of about 85. This is also a strong argument in favor of fiber for weight loss. In addition, dietary fiber is the prevention of obesity and diabetes.
- Fiber foods normalize the intestinal microflora. Normal microflora enhances immunity, and its absence leads to skin rashes, poor complexion, indigestion, bloating.
- Dietary fiber absorbs cholesterol and helps to eliminate it from the body. This reduces the risk of heart and vascular diseases.
- Coarse fibers stimulate the walls of the large intestine, which prevent the formation of malignant tumors. Accordingly, the risk of rectal and colon cancer is reduced.
- Another invaluable benefit of consuming fiber-rich foods is a reduced risk of gallstones.
As you can see, the benefits of fiber for both weight loss and health cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, most people neglect natural foods, preferring processed foods without dietary fiber. But if you decide to increase your fiber intake (for both weight loss and health), then we offer you some tips on how to do this.
- Fiber is essential for good gastrointestinal function and weight loss. therefore Eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, dried fruits, seeds, legumes, whole grains, bran, or wholemeal breads regularly.
- Whenever possible, reduce the amount of refined foods that are devoid of fiber. Those. give preference to brown rice, bran bread, cane sugar. Remember that there is no fiber at all in dairy products and meat.
- In the process of heat treatment, the amount of dietary fiber in vegetables is halved in just 20 minutes of cooking. Try to consume vegetables fresh or cook them as gently as possible, adding them only at the end of cooking.
- Bran is the record holder for the content of plant fibers. Add them to porridge, soup, kefir – this will reduce appetite and improve digestion. Before this, the bran can be soaked in warm water and wait 20 minutes until they swell. If you add bran to the soup, then they completely replace bread, while the lunch will turn out to be more nutritious and healthy. By the way, if you want to cook a delicious and aromatic soup, then look here for a lot of pickle options.
- If you have a lot of vegetables, fruits, cereals in your diet, then you can skip the bran. In all other cases, this product is irreplaceable.
- For some people, eating coarse fiber, even within the normal range, can cause flatulence. This is due to the peculiarity of the intestinal microflora. In this case, consume fiber in small portions, gradually adjusting your body to its use.
- You shouldn’t consume too much fiber. Since it is a sorbent for cleansing the body, along with toxic substances, useful trace elements and vitamins can also be excreted. Dietary plant fiber is an indispensable substance for humans, but they should not be abused.
- Fiber absorbs a lot of fluids, so be sure to accompany your intake with enough water (an additional 2-3 glasses of water for 20-30 g of dietary fiber).
- If you feel that you are not consuming the right amount of dietary fiber with regular foods, you can buy specialty supplements. Fiber can be made in the form of powder, granules, and even specialty bars. Moreover, both individual types (cellulose, hemicellulose, lignin, pectin, gums) and combined options are sold.
- The approximate daily intake of fiber is 35-45 g (at least 25 g). Read more about fiber content below. If you decide to increase the intake of dietary fiber, then you need to do it gradually. An example of a menu that shows the daily intake of fiber:
Fiber content in foods: tables
In order to understand how much dietary fiber you are consuming, we offer you tables with fiber content in foods:
Alternative table of fiber content in foods:
High fiber foods:
Scientists have proven that Adequate fiber intake significantly reduces the risk of many diseases. Therefore, it is so important to consume fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes and grains, seeds and bran. Fiber is also effective for weight loss, because it reduces appetite and helps cleanse the body of toxins.
Read also: 10 reasons to give up sweets and 10 tips on how to achieve it.