What if you learned of a magic pill that could boost your metabolism, aid your weight loss program, help you feel full, increase your lifespan, reduce your risk of diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases while controlling your cholesterol? You'd probably jump on it without thinking twice. Well, you don't need a drug to get these things in their real sense. Not when we can suggest a single ingredient that covers it all - Fiber.
Despite all the fantastic health benefits of fiber, researchers still point out that not many people are maximizing its full potential. Of course, that's expected because most people lack the knowledge of the amazing things that fiber can do in the body. To this effect, this article focuses on the benefits of microfiber, with particular interest on their potential to help in weight loss.
Types of fibers
Fiber is often divided into different categories, with each category differing in their nutrigenomics. The most popular categories of fiber include insoluble fiber, soluble fiber, and prebiotic fiber.
This is a type of fiber that does not mix with water.
It acts majorly as a bulking agent, helping to form stool and pass it through the guts.
It has proven to be useful in treating constipation.
On the other hand, this category of fiber mixes with water to form viscous gel-like substances that are capable of slowing down how fast the stomach can release digested food to the gut.
Researchers confirm that eating enough soluble fiber reduces belly fat and the prevention of further add-up.
The last type of fiber is the prebiotic fiber that feeds the friendly bacteria present in your gut.
This helps the gut bacteria to produce nutrients for your colon cells, leading to a healthier digestive system.
How does fiber aid weight loss?
Facts and research have always pointed out that fiber can help anyone lose weight, even if they don't make other adjustments to their diet.
First, fiber is super-filling, leaving your stomach with little space to eat other high-fat foods.
Besides, the digestive process of fiber is relatively slower compared to sugar and simple starches.
There are several other ways they help to reduce weight, and it's been proven repeatedly.
In fact, dieters who were told to get at least 30 grams of fiber per day without any other dietary parameters lost a significant amount of weight.
Fiber is not just high for keeping your weight and appetite in check; it is also great for your heart-health and can help reduce the risk of diabetes.
There are loads of other benefits that we will discuss as this article progresses.
Fiber intake and gut microbiome
When it comes to weight loss, fiber's the best choice as it encourages the diversity of gut bacteria.
It's important to know that there are already over 100 trillion helpful bacteria that live in your lower gut.
Such bacteria are harmless, sharing a mutually beneficial relationship with humans.
Since soluble fiber helps to improve gut bacteria, it's a no-brainer that it will help to reduce belly fat.
Fiber intake and reduced appetite
Most people have always been curious about how fiber helps in weight reduction. Here, let's review some of the ways it works.
It is no surprise that fiber is a powerful natural suppressant of appetite. This keeps you from regularly reaching out for junk.
It is important to know that soluble fiber makes it more likely for you to reduce your intake of calories by suppressing your appetite. This would, in turn, help you lose weight.
There are tons of theories regarding how fiber helps for the reduction of appetite.
However, the most popular one is that it helps regulate hormones involved in controlling appetite.
However, another theory suggests that fiber can aid in appetite reduction by slowing the movement of food through the gut.
FTO gene, obesity, and weight loss
Even though everyone can benefit from consuming a fiber-rich diet, the effects of such a diet can vary from person to person.
Some people can lose a considerable amount of weight from this diet, while for others, dropping a few kilos might take a while.
This is because our genetic variations influence how our body responds to different nutrients present in the diet.
Let us take the FTO gene, for example. We've heard several questions about how the FTO gene influences weight loss and weight gain.
The FTO gene, short for FTO alpha-ketoglutarate dependent dioxygenase, located on chromosome 16, is mainly associated with the body-mass index, obesity, and type II diabetes.
A recent study pointed to an association between a particular variation in the FTO gene and carbohydrate intake, with individuals having a certain variant more susceptible to obesity than if they carried the original C allele (normal variant).
We've also seen several other studies establishing a direct relationship between a T to A transition and an increase in BMI.
Genetics of fiber intake and weight loss
Over time, a significant association between another variation and dietary fiber intake was noticed.
The research study has, in fact, reported that individuals carrying the AA genotype exhibited lower waist circumference than the T allele carriers on a high fiber diet.
FTO Genotype for weight loss
When on a high-fiber diet, people carrying the AA genotype tend to experience more weight loss than the other genotypes.
However, the A allele carriers, are also at a higher risk for obesity when physically inactive for prolonged periods of time.
Here's what you can do
Fiber-rich food can result in weight loss by increasing the feeling of fullness, thus leading to reduced calorie intake.
Since your genotype favors higher weight loss on fiber intake, you can include more fiber-rich foods in your diet.
Some natural sources of fiber include Broccoli, Lentils, Kidney Beans, Bananas, Barley, Almonds, Carrots, Dates, etc.
Since your genotype also puts you at a higher risk for obesity when physically inactive, ensure to include some light exercises in your routine.
Here are some simple exercises that can make you feel great all day.
- Brisk walking/running
- Cat-camel stretch
- Jumping jacks
T allele carriers may not experience a significant weight loss on fiber intake.
A lesser reduction in BMI on high fiber intake was noticed in the TT genotype in comparison to the AA genotype.
While ensuring adequate fiber intake, consumption of other weight loss-friendly foods can also help.
Here are some recommendations
- Peanut butter
- Beans, lentils, and peas
- Boiled potatoes
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Cottage cheese
- Chili pepper
- Olive oil
Fiber supplements for weight loss: Do they work?
After several studies on the effect of fiber from food, researchers have concluded that the benefits of fiber from supplements cannot equal that of food fiber.
Plus, getting fiber from supplements might mean missing out on essential vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients present in fiber-rich food.
However, people who may have certain dietary restrictions like gluten intolerance may need to turn to fiber supplements to get the daily recommended dose.
Pros and cons of high fiber diet
- Weight Loss
- Bowel regularity
- Cancer prevention
- Heart health
- Abdominal bloating
- Intestinal gas
Dietary sources of fiber
Having talked so much about fiber for weight loss, and how the DNA diet affects your journey towards achieving the perfect body structure, it's also important that we suggest some dietary sources of fiber.
Bear in mind that most fiber-rich foods contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Some popular fiber-rich foods include:
- Whole grain breakfast cereals, whole grain bread, and oat, whole-wheat pasta, rye, and barley
- Fruits such as pears, oranges, berries, and melon
- Nuts and seeds
- Peas, beans, and pulses
- Vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and sweetcorn
There you have it now. We've reviewed everything you'll need to know about fiber and weight loss.
We've also made recommendations on foods with high fiber content. With the average fiber requirements for your body per day pegged between 25 to 30 grams, it lies on you to find what fits your body and stick to it.
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