Fiber is one of those things that our doctors tell us to get enough of but we rarely do. We see the commercials advertising the mix-it-water fiber but we just change the channel. Fiber is one of the most nutritious part of the plant based foods that we eat. The ironic thing is, we can't digest it. It will pass right through our digestive tract without being transferred into our blood. So why do we need fiber when we are trying to lose weight?
What is fiber?
Also known as bulk or roughage, fiber is a vital nutrient contained in all plant-based foods.
Unlike, other nutrients such as fats, carbs and proteins, fiber cannot be broken down or absorbed into your system. It simply forms the bulk of your waste, thus facilitating the movement of feces out of the body.
It is categorized into two types called soluble and insoluble fiber, where soluble fiber dissolves in water to form a gel-like substance and the latter, simply moves the waste material out of your gut.
Importance of fiber for weight loss
Fiber makes us feel fuller than we actually are. With the fact that our bodies do not digest it, it stays within the stomach longer which means that we will be less likely to snack later on. It also slows down our rate of digestion of all of the other food that we happen to eat with it. The opposite effect happens with fat, however. Fat is moved by the fiber faster than it can be digested. In this way, fiber helps you keep the nutritious parts of your food while making sure that the fat is not absorbed into your system.
Things to stay away from
With all of these great benefits, are you wondering where to get more fiber. Before you rush off to the store, there are a few things that you should know about how to select foods that are really high in fiber. For example, you should not find fiber in meat or dairy because they are animal based products.
Make sure to stay away from the refined grains as well. Even though refined grains are grains by definition, years of being, well, refined have left them with little or no fiber in them. If you are looking for the grains, it is best to find them in either whole grain products or the natural food section of your grocery store.
The best place to find fiber is in fruits, beans, vegetables, brown rice, and whole grains. The problem with bread that explains that it has 100% wheat is that it is really no different from white bread. Most companies have added a caramel coloring has been added to make it seem like it is natural. When people eat grains that have been refined, their bodies will have a spike in their blood sugar levels which effectively tell the body that it needs to stop burning fat and begin to store it. This is typically followed by a drop in insulin which sends us straight to the kitchen.
Therefore, opt for whole grains such as oats, barley and their products. Have organic fruits and vegetables, as they are rich in fiber, minus the harmful chemicals and pesticides.
If you are currently dieting, it is best to try to stick to foods that have a lot of dietary fiber. These foods may be more expensive at the grocery store but should equal out to about the same money that you would be spending on junk food. This can also help people that have to watch their blood sugar levels stay more consistent since there is not a huge drop in the blood sugar levels when our bodies are done digesting the food we ate.