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Dietary fiber is the indigestible portion of plant foods that move food through your digestive system and increase stool volume. It stands out among other nutritional strategies for weight loss because it can help you lose weight without dieting. Eating more fiber means eating less fat and fewer calories overall.

Weight loss

Also, it may help you lose weight by making you feel full faster. Fiber can also bind to sugars and lipids in the digestive tract, helping prevent them from being absorbed into your bloodstream.

Digestion

We find it only in plant foods. Good fiber sources include fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Red meat, cheese, and most other animal foods have no fiber at all. In order for it to be an effective weight-loss strategy, you need to eat a lot of plant foods every day.

Requirements

The daily fiber intake recommendations from the Institute of Medicine are 14 grams for every 1,000 calories of food consumed. For example, if you eat 2,000 calories per day, then you need 28 grams of fiber.

Types

There are two types: soluble and insoluble. We mostly find soluble fiber in fruits, oats, and legumes. We cannot dissolve insoluble fiber in water. It passes through the digestive system intact, which helps prevent constipation and may also help lower blood cholesterol levels.

Bowel Movement

The fiber content of many whole grains is about 65% insoluble and 35% soluble. This ratio ensures that eating whole grains every day will lead to regular bowel movements.

Blood Sugar

Insoluble, found mostly in whole grains, vegetables, and fruit, does not break down during digestion. Instead, it absorbs water and speeds up, moving food and waste through your digestive system. Fiber intake reduces the rise in blood sugar that normally occurs after a meal. In people with diabetes, it can improve blood sugar control after eating a carbohydrate-rich meal.

Satiety

Solubles form a gel during the digestive process, which makes you feel fuller for longer. This may help promote weight loss by helping you eat less.

Cholesterol

The fiber found in whole grains helps lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and may raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol slightly.

Sources

The best sources are whole grains. Other sources include fruit, vegetables, legumes, seeds, nuts, flaxseeds, and psyllium husks.