Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Closer Look at...


Ok, not that kind... the Dietary type. The kind you eat!

What is it?
Fiber is the part of plant-based foods that our bodies can't digest. It passes through our digestive tract without providing nutrition or calories.

What else does it do?
Fiber helps to keep our bowel movements regular and ward off certain diseases. Fiber also helps transport cholesterol out of our body, reducing our risk for heart disease.

Why is fiber important for weight loss?
Fiber makes us feel full sooner and stays in our stomach longer than other substances we eat, slowing down our rate of digestion and keeping us feeling full longer.

What foods have fiber?
Meat and dairy products contain no fiber, and refined grains have had most of their fiber removed. To increase your intake of fiber, eat more whole and natural foods, and fewer processed foods. Some good examples of fiber-rich foods include:
  • Legumes (lentils, dry beans and peas)
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grains (wheat, oats, barley)
Do you know how much fiber you are recommended to get everyday? For women under 50 years of age it is 25 grams. That seems like a lot, right? Well... Let's take a look at a typical day.

Oatmeal = 3 grams
1/2 cup of raspberries on top = 3.5 grams

Mid-Morning Snack:
Banana = 3 grams

Salad = 4 grams

Afternoon Snack:
An apple and a dozen almonds = 5.5 grams

A grilled chicken breast, baked potato with a side of broccoli = 10grams

For a grand total of 29 grams of Fiber! That's more than we need!

Adding more fiber to your diet will likely help you lose weight and improve your health, but do it gradually. Rapid increases in consumption of fiber may result in gas or diarrhea.  Also, be sure to drink plenty of fluids when adding fiber to your diet. While fiber is normally helpful to your digestive system, without adequate fluids it can cause constipation instead of helping to eliminate it.

It's a win-win. You get fiber and water. Both of which are great for weight loss! So, if you are stuck in a rut or on a plateau- pick up a pear which has a whopping 5.5 grams  and wash 'er down with a tall drink of water. The wet kind- not the handsome man type....


  1. I love fiber! I eat probably way more than the minimum, since my diet consists of beans, whole grains, fruits, and veggies mostly. :-)

    Great post.

  2. So true, water & fiber are great for weight loss & health. I like your sense of humor.