Fiber is known for many reasons, especially for its function in regulating gut movement. But the benefits of this food component do not stop here. For many decades, a fiber-rich diet has been used for several purposes. Some people use it for cardiac benefits, while others enjoy it for the filling properties.
But there is another use of fiber-rich foods that have recently caught our attention. Believe it or not, that function is weight loss. It is believed that consuming a good amount of fiber regularly can help a person lose weight quickly and efficiently. So, in this article, let’s uncover the mystery behind this fiber-rich diet and how it helps in the process of weight loss.
Before we discuss how fiber prevents weight gain, let’s see how the body reacts after the consumption of fiber.
An important part of any food consumption is its absorption inside the gut. All the food that we eat is essentially made up of three elements, protein, carbohydrate, and fat. And our body has special chemicals to absorb all of them.
But unlike these, fiber is composed of cellulose. Unfortunately, the human body cannot digest this compound. It is bulky, and there is no chemical in our digestive system that can break it down for further absorption. Therefore, all the fiber we eat simply moves around in the digestive tract until finally it is excreted out, as feces.
This process pretty much explains why fiber is essential for keeping the gut motility in check. Since it is not absorbed, it becomes the bulk that pushes the gut muscles to move. As a result of it, the intestine movements are monitored and balanced. Now we know why fiber is recommended to prevent constipation.
But here is the thing, while fiber is known as a cure for constipation, it is also fairly famous for satisfying hunger. And if this compound relieves hunger, that too, without getting absorbed in the body, one can say that it stops the person from eating other unhealthy junk food.
Because if a person would not feel hungry, why would he eat? And even then, if he chooses to eat, and eats a fiber-rich food, it’s not going to get absorbed. Hence, no weight gain. It will be excreted as is without changing the individual’s weight or body measurement. This explains why fiber is a tool for reducing a person’s weight.
Now, one can say that it is a funny assumption, and it is not possible for any food to not affect body weight. But this concept is proven to be true by many pieces of research as well.
For example, an article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition studied the effect of a high fiber diet on almost 90,000 healthy Europeans aged 20-78. The researchers followed the subjects for six and a half years, analyzing dietary fiber intake from cereal sources vs. fruit and vegetable fiber sources to study the effect on weight and waist circumference.
At the study’s conclusion, subjects who increased total dietary fiber (regardless of fiber source) intake by 10 grams/day experienced statistically significant prevention of weight and waist circumference gain. Intake of cereal fiber led to the prevention of both weight and waist circumference gain, while fruit and vegetable fiber intake was inversely associated only with waist circumference and not weight gain.
The researchers concluded that their data support the beneficial role of increasing dietary fiber, especially, cereal fiber in the prevention of body weight and waist circumference gain. Therefore, it is scientifically proven that a fiber-rich diet not only satisfies one’s craving, but it also helps in reducing weight.
But while this new concept is considered revolutionary, there are many confusions for this diet as well. Many people object to the use of cereal as opposed to other foods. For them, it is an unnecessary condition. But in reality, this condition is quite important. You see, cereal grains are completely pure with no added ingredients. This ensures their fiber content and also avoids the harmful effects of the otherwise added elements.
If you struggle with weight gain or unhealthy food cravings, then maybe this new diet can help you achieve your desired body measurement. To simplify this technique, we have prepared a list of cereal grains that contain healthy fiber in abundant quantities. They are given below:
All of these cereals can be consumed as is or mixed with other foods. You can also incorporate them in different salads or maybe desserts as a healthy solution to your unhealthy cravings. Another use can be as a breakfast cereal; a bowl of high fiber cereal at dawn will be enough to get you going till the dusk.
In a Nutshell
A fiber-rich diet has made it to the spotlight due to its filling properties several times. But there is another benefit of fiber that we usually overlook, that is, weight loss. Fiber-rich foods, especially cereal grains, keep the body functions in check and helps people to shed off some extra weight.
If you want to try this new diet, the grains mentioned above are great to start your journey towards a healthy life. Take your first step with a single meal, maybe breakfast, and then work your way up to the dinner. And remember, healthy eating is always happy eating.