Eating More Fiber to Lose Weight

whole grains
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Getting enough fiber is one of those things that you're supposed to worry about as you get older, right? Well, maybe your older self will worry about fiber, but if your younger self wants to lose weight, then they should worry about fiber too. Fiber can help you slim down. And according to a new study, it might be one of the easiest ways to lose weight.

Weight Loss is Easier With Fiber

A 2015 study lasting 12 months was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine. It involved 240 adults with metabolic syndrome and compared a high fiber diet to a conventional diet published by the American Heart Association (AHA). The AHA diet was fairly complex because the dieters on that plan had to count calories, reduce their grams of sugar, eat more veggies and lean protein. They also had to eat enough fiber.

Both groups in the study lost weight. The group on the American Heart Association diet actually lost more. But not a lot more. And that's what makes this study interesting. The simple act of eating more fiber helped people lose weight without all the added hassle of counting calories and macronutrients.

How Fiber Helps You Lose Weight

Fiber helps you lose weight in a few different ways. First, foods with more fiber are more filling. If you eat high-fiber foods like oatmeal or whole-grain breads, it takes your body a long time to digest the food. So your belly feels full for a longer period of time and that can help you eat less.

In addition, some types of fiber, called insoluble fiber, can't be digested by your body. So the food passes through your digestive system without being absorbed into your bloodstream. This means that the food won't end up padding your thighs or your belly like other foods can do.

How to Get Enough Fiber 

So how do you get enough fiber in your diet? It's easy! Just choose whole grains when you buy things like bread, pasta or breakfast cereal. But you need to look for the words "whole grain" on the label. Sometimes food manufacturers use words like "grain" or "multigrain" or "natural grain" to make the food sound healthier than it is. Whole grains should be the first ingredient you see on the list because the ingredients are listed in descending order by weight. Fresh vegetables and fruit are also a good source of natural fiber.

You should also check the nutrition facts label on the foods you buy to see how much fiber each product contains. Fiber is listed under carbohydrates and sugars.  How much fiber should you eat? The current recommendation, or daily value set by the FDA, for fiber is 28 grams per day.

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