Eating Fibre to Lose Weight is to add more plant based food in your plate for good health and wellbeing.
Dietary fibre, also known as roughage, is only found in plant foods. Fibre is an essential part of a healthy diet. It not only promotes proper digestion and elimination but also feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. In fact, we have billions of bacteria in our gut and the food of these gut bacteria is Fibre.
So, the more diverse fibre we eat, the healthier our gut becomes. Lack of fibre can cause serious issues like constipation, poor gut health, diabetes, heart diseases, overweight, high blood pressure, cancer and many more. In fact, one of the many reasons behind lifestyle diseases becoming an epidemic is the less intake of fibre among today’s generation.
A high-fiber diet has several benefits, including helping with weight loss. While fiber is a carbohydrate, it is not easily digestible. It adds bulk to satisfy your feeling of fullness after a meal while not boosting your blood sugar or adding calories. Also, fibrous foods often need chewing, which is another factor that leads to feeling satisfied from eating.
Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet by Mayo Clinic Staff
The three most important kinds of dietary fiber include:
- Insoluble: This fiber comes from the walls of plant cells and it doesn’t dissolve in water or ferment in the colon like soluble fiber. It is found in whole grains, the skin of fruit that grows on trees, and many green vegetables. This is the kind of fiber that helps with digestive health and regularity.
- Soluble: This fiber is found in most plants, but especially in legumes and beans, root vegetables, many fruits, and some grains, such as oats and barley. “Good” bacteria in the colon use this kind of fiber as a food source, and it may help control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
- Prebiotic: This is a type of soluble fiber (called inulin or fructan) that is found in asparagus, onions, garlic, leeks, bananas, and some root vegetables, as well as in certain grains.
So it is very important to include a plant based diet to get enough fiber. The good news is that many plant sources are also nutrient-dense, packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that are beneficial for your health.
When possible, get your fiber from food sources rather than using fiber supplements. Fiber supplements are usually ineffective for weight loss — with the exception of glucomannan. However, getting your fiber from whole plant foods is better than supplementing.
Include Rich Sources of Fiber in your Diet
Rich sources include beans and legumes, flax seeds, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, oats, whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
One cup of raspberries or blackberries added to your yogurt bowl or snack on them plain.
Other fruits that are very high in fiber include passionfruit, guavas, and pomegranate seeds (not juice). Dried fruits such as raisins, dates, and figs are high in fiber but are also high in sugar. They make great additions to oatmeal, but be aware of portion size.
It’s better to eat the whole fruit, with skin when possible, rather than juice it. Orange juice with pulp does contain fiber, and prune juice is a very good source of fiber as well.
Ripe papaya: A fruit which has maximum digestive enzymes and hence good for the gut and digestion.
Guava: A fruit which has much more vitamin C than oranges apart from being loaded in fibre.
Mango: Excellent for digestive health, higher in fibre and great to reverse macular degeneration.
Vegetables are a great way to super-size meals and give you a big portion without a big calorie count. Using high-fiber veggies makes meals even more satisfying.
For breakfast, include veggies such as onions, green peppers, and spinach with your eggs for a fiber-rich, high-protein meal. Enjoy a snack of high-fiber hummus dip paired with raw veggie dippers such as carrots, red peppers, green peppers, broccoli, and celery.
Drumsticks: A superfood when it comes to immunity, bone health and very high in insoluble fibre.
Green vegetables: The reason why green vegetables are excellent for gut health is due to the high amount of fibre that it contains.
Choose whole grains over refined ones to boost fiber intake. For example, select 100% whole wheat bread instead of white bread (or wheat bread that isn’t made from 100% whole wheat).
Oats are a fantastic way to get the fiber you need.
Stick with whole grains as much as possible to boost your fiber intake. Avoid Refined Flours and Grains
Millet is rich in dietary fiber, both soluble and insoluble. The insoluble fiber in millet is known as a “prebiotic,” which means it supports good bacteria in your digestive system. This type of fiber is also important for adding bulk to stools, which helps keep you regular and reduces your risk of colon cancer.
Wheat and rice may be amongst the most popular grains, but millets such as sorghum (jowar), pearl millet (bajra), foxtail millet (kangni), finger millet (ragi), Barnyard millet, Kodo mille, Little Millet, Proso Millet are amongst the healthiest millet grains available.
Beans are an amazing food to add to your diet. Not only are they naturally high in fiber, but they’re also packed with protein. Black beans, kidney beans, Cholai, Fava Beans, Matki, Bengal Gram, Chickpea, Soya Beans, Guar / Cluster Beans, Lobiya, Green Gram, Lima Beans, Bengal velvet bean are all-stars and they’re so versatile.
Split pea and lentil soups are made mostly of legumes. Add bulk and flavor with pearled barley (a high-fiber whole grain) and satisfying, high-fiber veggies like butternut squash and potatoes. Homemade soups can be made lower in the fat and salt found in the soup at the supermarket.
Sprouted moong: Sprouted moong are an excellent source of plant protein apart from being an excellent source of plant fibre.
Nuts and Seeds
Chia seeds and ground flaxseeds pack 3 grams of fiber per tablespoon. They are easy additions to smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or salad dressings. Plus, they are rich sources of healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Ground flaxseeds add a nutty flavor and you can use them in baking or breading. Chia seeds can also be used to make chia pudding, which is a satisfying breakfast or dessert.
Nuts and roasted pumpkin or squash seeds make a great snack food that you can season with autumn spices like cinnamon and nutmeg or savory spices like curry powder or cayenne pepper. You will get 4 grams of fiber in only 12 pumpkin seeds (the whole seed, not the unshelled kernels).
Ensure that you are consuming at least 3-4 items from the list above. It is only our habits that can create good health and reverse disease rather than any diets. Hence, we recommend people to add seasonal fruits and salad at least twice in a day so that they can develop a habit of eating sufficient fibre on a day-to-day basis.
Eating more foods rich in fiber — can be an effective strategy to lose weight.
However, like many weight loss methods, it won’t lead to long-term results unless you pair it with a lasting lifestyle change.
Keep in mind that fiber supplements likely have less of an overall health impact than fiber-rich whole foods.
Additionally, don’t forget that health isn’t all about body weight. Eating plenty of fiber from real foods can have numerous other health benefits.