Fiber is the Secret Weapon for Fighting Fat
Fiber has a well-deserved and sparkling reputation as a key defense against our most dreaded chronic diseases, but fighting fat is where it shines most brilliantly. In fact, I consider fiber the most under-utilized and under-appreciated “secret weapon” for weight and appetite control.
Fiber is a superhero when it comes to fighting fat. Here are 6 powerful ways it will help you win the battle of the bulge.
- Fiber “fills you up” for zero calories. Fiber occupies space and provides a bulking effect in the GI tract, which elicits a significant appetite-suppressive effect, despite its zero calorie makeup.
- Fiber slows down the eating process providing more time for the hunger-quieting hormones released within the GI tract to reach the brain’s appetite control center. (Think about how long it takes you to eat four apples vs. drink the calorie equivalent of apple juice.)
- Fiber increases orosensory (in the mouth) satiety. The mouth is hardwired to the brain’s appetite center and the longer our mouths can engage with food in chewing, tasting, etc., the stronger the appetite-quieting signals emanating from the mouth to the brain will be.
- Fiber impedes the digestion and absorption of the carbohydrates it travels with in food. This slows both the rate of flux and the final dose of the breakdown products of carbohydrate digestion (fructose and glucose) that ultimately enter the bloodstream and the liver when carbohydrate foods are consumed. Both of these factors are invaluable for maintaining optimal metabolic health and safeguarding against insulin resistance. Keep in mind that insulin resistance is the “final common pathway” for almost all cases of obesity.
- Fiber speeds up the release of the all-powerful satiety hormone PYY. PYY is your primary meal termination – “I am done” hormone and it is liberated from the distal end of the small intestine. Before it can be released, food has to travel from the stomach through 22 feet of small intestine. The more fiber present in the foods you eat, the quicker it will traverse through the small intestine to initiate the release of PYY. The quicker the release of PYY, the sooner you will feel full.
- Fiber nourishes and supports the viability of the “good” bacteria that should reside in your colon. This is arguably the MOST IMPORTANT of all of fiber’s slimming features. There is now compelling evidence that having a wide variety and large populations of “good” bacteria in the colon plays an instrumental role in maintaining a healthy metabolism and body weight. According to some experts, having an abundance of “good” vs. “lousy” bacteria can mean the difference between being lean vs. being obese. The single most powerful thing you can do to establish and maintain the “good” and keep out the “lousy” is to eat an abundance of fiber.
Please note, to take advantage of all of these glorious benefits, you must consume fiber in its native, real food form. Isolated fiber typically, chicory root, inulin, maltodextrin, wheat fiber, or oat fiber, that has been artificially added to processed foods does not perform in the same manner as naturally occurring fiber. So forget the processed, and go for the real found in whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds.
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