Weight Loss – The Facts about Fiber That You Should Know

February 27, 2009 by  
Filed under Weight Loss

The amount of fiber content in the food has become an obsession today with the health conscious public. This is more so with those concerned with weight loss.

Despite the fact that food fibers are entirely carbohydrates, it has a lot of importance in weight loss plans and weight loss recipes. How can this paradox be explained?

What Is Fiber?

Fiber is essentially made of carbohydrates, which means that if it is broken up into elements, it will be oxygen, hydrogen, and carbon. But what makes it different from other carbohydrates and makes it important in weight loss recipes, and safe weight loss, is the fact that it is indigestible.

Digestive enzymes work on both complex carbohydrates and simple carbohydrates, breaking them up and releasing energy. But these enzymes have no action on dietary fibers and that is what makes it important in any weight loss program.

Why Is Fiber Good?

Dietary fibers are not water soluble. It just moves along the digestive tract along with the other food particles which get broken up sooner or later. It has the ability to increase the food volume, which gives rise to a satiated feeling which in turn causes a person to stop eating. This state of affairs substantially reduces overeating, or eating just for the pleasure of it, and becomes a boon to those aspiring for a healthy weight loss. It also helps in increasing the volume of stools.

Wheat bran, whole wheat flour, certain vegetables, and several types of nuts are rich sources of insoluble dietary fiber and make them ideal as ingredients of weight loss recipes.

As against the insoluble ones, soluble fibers dissolve in water, forming a colloidal mass. It helps in healthy weight loss in more or less the same way as insoluble ones. Besides that, it helps in cleaning the digestive tract of bacteria and in the regulation of the level of blood glucose.

Cereals like oats and barley, vegetables like peas, beans, and carrots, and citrus fruits and apples have high fiber content which highly increases its value as ingredients in weight loss recipes.

A diet which has high fiber content helps in a healthy weight loss by decreasing the risk of heart problem as it lowers the LDL cholesterol in the body.

The diet program South Beach Diet recommends a diet of high fiber content as a safe weight loss method as it slows down sugar absorption as well. The overall result of this is a better balanced Glycemic index which charts the fluctuations in a person’s blood glucose.

As is well known, insulin levels are directly connected to glucose levels in blood. So, when the latter is controlled, the risks of developing Type 2 diabetes in substantially reduced. That is another reason why foods rich in fibers should be part of weight loss recipes as well as a healthy weight loss plan.

As fiber is not digested, it adds volume without adding calories and gives rise to a feeling of fullness without having eaten the requisite amount to create that fullness. This is the ideal scenario that is required by any weight loss diet.

How Much Daily Fiber Is Good?

A fiber intake of 25gms a day could be ideal for anyone who is on a weight loss diet. The general rate of consumption of a mere 15gms is, however, not sufficient. The correctly recommended daily allowance of fiber, whether one is on a weight loss diet or not, is not clearly known.

A study conducted at Massachusetts Medical School has established that those whose daily diet contained at least 22gms of fiber will have a disposition that is less conducive to developing diabetes or heart disease because of their lower CRP levels. That is another reason why a healthy weight loss plan should contain fiber rich food.


The importance of fiber in daily diet, especially in a weight loss diet, is practically undisputed. But all theories have as many detractors as exponents. So, in an individual’s case, the ultimate arbiter of the effectiveness of fibers should preferably be his personal physician.

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