For people looking to lose weight, the hardest part is figuring out how to eat in order to stay full, and how to fight cravings throughout the day. It’s not hard to eat healthily if you’re full and satisfied, but if you make the mistake of not eating enough — or not eating enough foods high in fiber — you’ll likely find yourself constantly hungry and prowling for junk food, sugar, and processed foods.
Why soluble fiber is the best kind of fiber for weight loss
Sources of natural fiber are simple, cheap, and essential in a healthy diet geared towards weight loss. These include fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole gluten-free grains, seeds, beans, and nuts.
Fiber not only slows down the release of insulin in the bloodstream to lower your blood sugar, but it also expands the stomach and makes you feel full. It’s also the best nutrient to help eliminate wastes, cholesterol, and toxins from the body. As fiber travels through the digestive tract, it sweeps all of these harmful agents out, along with fat!
Soluble vs. insoluble fiber
There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber creates a swift, quick movement through the digestive tract, and is not absorbed by water like soluble fiber is. Insoluble fiber is found in many foods which also contain soluble fiber, such as bran, corn, leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, psyllium, coconut flour, nuts, beans, grains, and some fruits.
Soluble fiber is water soluble, which means it is absorbed with water in the digestive tract and goes through the body at a slower pace. We need a mix of both types of fiber for optimal health and regularity. Both types are also found in most foods, though some foods are richer in soluble fiber.
Foods high in soluble fiber are the ones to focus on if you’re looking to stay fuller longer. This is because they take longer for the body to process, and in the meantime, keep you satiated.
Soluble fiber is found in many fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, and legumes. It’s also found in flax, chia and pumpkin seeds.
Focus on these soluble fiber-rich foods:
- Yams/sweet potatoes
- Artichoke hearts
- Plums (and prunes)
Not only are these foods very filling, they’re also easy to work into your meals. In addition, many are linked to preventing multiple types of disease, and help to lower blood sugar.
For instance, berries, oats, lentils, barley, and chia have all been shown to help reduce the risk of diabetes and high cholesterol. Pumpkin, yams/sweet potatoes, beets, artichokes, prunes, and asparagus are high in antioxidants and contain properties that boost liver function and improve detoxification. These foods also have a high water content, yet are low in sugar.
Furthermore, some of these foods feed good bacteria in the gut due to their prebiotic properties. Healthy bacteria in the body has been shown to not only promote better brain health, longevity, and immunity, but also to fight obesity, sugar cravings, and high blood sugar.
Foods high in prebiotic fibers include onions, asparagus, artichoke hearts, apples, and berries. Other good sources of prebiotics include cabbage, garlic, and pears, which also contain soluble fiber in varying amounts.
These foods are a great source of nutrition to improve your health in general, as well as to help you achieve a healthy weight. Do any of your favorite meals include these nutritious foods?
—The Alternative Daily
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2605338/ http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/69/1/30.full http://www.wakehealth.edu/NewsReleases/2011/Soluble_Fiber_Strikes_a_Blow_to_Be lly_Fat.htm