What is fiber?
Dietary fiber, sometimes called “roughage”, is the indigestible portion of plant foods that pushes food through the digestive system, absorbing water and easing defecation. Read more about fiber under Nutrition.
Why fiber helps you win at losing
Researchers at Tufts U discovered that people who ate a few additional grams of fiber every day automatically consumed fewer calories, without even trying.
It turns out that the subjects weren’t dieting or following a calorie-controlled menu. They weren’t really trying to lose weight! They were testing the consequences of a high-fiber diet. Apparently, the extra fiber filled them up, so they ate less automatically because eating more fiber made them feel full.
Blocks some calories. Dietary fiber can block the absorption of some of the fat and protein you eat. If you’re overweight, that could be a good thing.
Bulks up in your stomach. Water-soluble fiber, in particular, absorbs s water from your stomach and forms a kind of gel that swells up. This helps you to feel full.
Offers more food per calorie Since fiber can’t be digested, eating a diet high in fiber can trick your stomach into feeling full with fewer calories than you would normally eat.
Prolongs your meal. For most people the pleasure of food lies in the eating. A high-fiber diet requires lots of chewing and swallowing.
Stabilizes blood sugar. Fibrous foods release their sugar energy more slowly. Instead of your body getting surges of sugar from food, it gets its energy in stead amounts.
Prevention’s Fiber Up, Slim Down Cookbook
Prevention has written a high-fiber cookbook that they claim will help you lose weight and feel full after eating. We think it’s worth finding out if it works for you and me.
You can go to www.Prevention.com and order a book online for the last known retail price of $21.95. Or, you can go to Amazon.com where the book is for sale at a discounted price of $14.95. Either way if you want to lose weight, and you’re tired of dieting, this just might work.
If you don’t want to buy the cook book but do want to increase the fiber in your diet, here are what are reputed to be the top 10 fiber foods. A good goal is to consume up to 30 grams a day.
|1.||Bran cereals – Average of 10 grams in ½ cup.
Topping this list are Bran Buds and All-Bran, but 100% Bran, Raisin Bran, Most and Cracklin’ Bran are also excellent sources.
|2.||Fresh or frozen green peas – 9 grams in ½ cup|
|3.||Dried beans, peas, and other legumes – Average of 8 grams in ½ cup (4 oz can)
This includes baked beans, kidney beans, split peas, dried limas, garbanzos, pinto beans and black beans.
|4.||Fresh or frozen lima beans, both Fordhook and baby limas – 6 grams in ½ cup|
|5.||Sweet corn on the cob or cut off in kernels – 5 grams in ½ cup or a whole ear|
|6.||Broccoli – 5 grams in ½ cup cooked|
|7.||Oatmeal – 5 grams in ½ cup cooked
Whole-wheat and other whole-grain cereal products. – Somewhat less than oatmeal. Rye, oats, buckwheat and stone-ground cornmeal are all high in fiber. Bread, pastas, pizzas, pancakes and muffins made with whole-grain flours.
|8.||Raspberries, blackberries and strawberries – 4 grams per ½ cup fresh|
|9.||Apples and pears – 4 grams in one medium whole fruit|
|10.||Dried figs – 4 grams in three dried figs|
The above list can serve as a few target foods. For more specific calorie and fiber content of particular foods, to estimate your daily and weekly quotas, you can refer to an alphabetical list of foods at Continuum Health Partners.
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