Why is Fiber Helpful For Weight Loss?

High Fiber Diets

What is Fiber?

Dietary fiber is a form of low-GI carbohydrate from plants. Fiber is not a source of energy or nutrition since the human body lacks the necessary enzymes to metabolize it in the gut. Fiber therefore adds no calories to our diet and passes largely unassimilated through the digestive system into the bowel.

Why is Fiber Helpful For Weight Loss?

Dietary fiber is a useful element in any weight reduction eating plan for several reasons:

  • The main sources of dietary fiber are healthy carbohydrates which have a low rating on the Glycemic Index (GI). Their low GI value means that they have a stabilizing effect on our blood glucose levels. This helps us avoid blood sugar “spikes”, improves appetite control and mood.
  • Fiber typically swells in the stomach when mixed with fluids. This helps us to feel fuller.
  • Fiber slows down digestion in the stomach, by stopping our digestive enzymes from breaking down and digesting food. This prolongs the feeling of satiety and stops us from feeling hungry too soon after eating.
  • Evidence suggests that soluble fiber may bind with fat, thus reducing the absorption of small amounts of fat, leading to fewer calories being eaten.
  • Fiber contains no calories itself.
  • Regular consumption of fiber offers a range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of digestive disorders, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Since weight reduction is linked to good health, the healthier your diet the easier it will be to lose weight.

Examples of High Fiber Diets

Raw food and vegetarian diets are typically rich in fiber. Popular weight loss plans that are high in dietary fiber, include: Eat More, Weight Less by Dean Ornish; and the F-Plan Diet by Audrey Eyton.

Both diets are low in fat (10-20 percent of calories) and high in complex low-GI carbohydrates.