Dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plants that helps keep our digestive system healthy. It’s found in foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and legumes. Dietary fiber can help lower cholesterol levels, control blood sugar levels, and improve gut health. Eating enough dietary fiber can also help prevent constipation and other bowel-related health problems. Nevertheless, fiber can also help you lose weight.
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Why is fiber good for weight loss?
All dietary fibers promote weight loss. Fiber helps you feel fuller for longer and slows down digestion. This allows your body to absorb the nutrients from food more slowly and keep your blood sugar levels steady. Eating fiber-rich foods can also make it easier to cut back on calories without feeling overly hungry. Plus, research suggests that fiber reduces weight, lower BMI, and decreases body fat and waist circumference.
High-fiber foods that can help you lose weight
1. Beans and Legumes
Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, kidney beans, peas, and other legumes are rich in fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also high in resistant starch, a type of fiber that has been shown to help reduce appetite, increase fat burning, and boost metabolism.
2. Whole Grains
Eating whole grains like oats, quinoa, barley, and buckwheat will provide your body with a good amount of fiber. They’re also packed with healthy vitamins and minerals that can help keep you feeling full for longer.
3. Nuts and Seeds
Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, Brazil nuts, and peanuts are packed with fiber. The same goes for seeds like chia, flax, sunflower, and sesame. These foods can help you feel full quicker and longer, as well as promote fat burning. Besides that, they’re also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to weight loss.
4. Leafy green vegetables
Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, beet greens, and Swiss chard are excellent sources of fiber. They’re also low in calories and high in nutrients like vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Some researchers believe eating leafy greens daily can help burn belly fat and maintain a lean body.
Consuming plenty of fruit is a great way to get your daily dose of fiber. Apples, oranges, bananas, pears, berries, and grapes are all good choices. Fruits are also loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds that promote weight loss and overall health.
Including these five fiber-rich foods in your diet can help you lose weight and improve your overall health. Eating a balanced diet filled with plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes will ensure you get all the necessary nutrients for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
How Much Fiber Should I Get Each Day?
The Institute of Medicine recommends that men under 50 years old should get 38 grams of dietary fiber each day, and women under 50 should get 25 grams per day. For those over 50 years old, men should aim for 30 grams, while women should try to consume 21 grams per day on average.
- High Fiber Diet Article. StatPearls. https://www.statpearls.com/articlelibrary/viewarticle/22867/
- Fiber: How to Increase the Amount in Your Diet. Family Doctor. https://familydoctor.org/fiber-how-to-increase-the-amount-in-your-diet/
- High-fiber foods. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/high-fiber-foods/art-20050948
- Quagliani, D., & Felt-Gunderson, P. (2017). Closing America’s Fiber Intake Gap: Communication Strategies From a Food and Fiber Summit. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 11(1), 80-85. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827615588079