Grandma called our secret weapon roughage, and you may know it as Mother Nature’s pipe cleaner, however, it is now being called The Dieter’s Secret Weapon.
What is the Dieter’s Secret Weapon?
Fiber is just about the best thing around if you are watching your weight.
Because fiber makes calories disappear. Several studies have shown that people who doubled their intake of fiber from 12 grams of fiber to 24 grams actually cut their calorie absorption by 90 calories a day! That’s a 10-pound weight-loss in a year, without even stepping on a treadmill! Note: Men 50 years of age and younger should consume at least 38 grams of fiber per day, while men older than 50 years of age should aim for at least 30 grams of fiber daily. Women 50 years of age and younger should consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day, while women older than 50 years of age should aim for at least 21 grams of fiber daily.
How does fiber prevent calories from ending up on your rear-end and on your belly?
Fiber, which is the cell wall of plants (the part you can’t digest), actually mops up molecules in your digestive tract, such as carbohydrates, fats and sugars—and their calories—and sweeps some of them out of your body when it passes through. What’s more, since you can’t digest it, fiber adds satisfying bulk to food, yet without calories! And, fiber takes longer to work its way through your digestive tract so it staves off hunger. So if you want to fill up and not out, eat foods with fiber, the more the merrier!
Which foods have fiber?
Whole grains (whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal, bran, quinoa, etc.), fruits, vegetables and beans all are great ways to get your fiber. This is excellent news! You don’t have to give up pasta, just eat a little bit less and fill the space in your stomach by tossing veggies in with your pasta. And if you want to go for the best choice and get extra fiber in the process, try whole-wheat pasta with those veggies. And, no need to nix pizza, just use whole-wheat crust and load up on the veggie toppings. And of course, go for the low-fat cheese while you’re at it if you want to save calories and artery clogging fat.
Here are common foods that may contribute to your fiber intake:
- ½ cup Kelloggs All-bran w/fiber 15 grams
- 1 medium apple, with skin 3.7 grams
- 1 cup kidney beans 9.0 grams
- 1 packet oatmeal, flavored 2.6 grams
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa 3 grams
- 1 cup whole wheat spaghetti 6.3 grams
- ½ cup cooked broccoli 2.6 grams
- 1 medium potato with skin 4.6 grams
- 1 slice whole wheat bread 2.6 grams
Fiber’s Added Bonus
- Lowers cholesterol- Soaks up fats and forces them through the body before they can do any damage
- Lowers risk of heart attack
- Lowers risk of high blood pressure
- Lowers risk of stroke
- Powerful weapon against Type II diabetes (slows glucose absorption)
One word of caution: If you currently don’t consume very much fiber, then add foods with fiber gradually to your diet. Adding fibrous foods too quickly can cause stomach distress, yikes!
What are your favorite ways to get fiber in your day?
For more tips and over 100 delicious recipes to get more fiber, please check out our book The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure. You’ll also get a 10-day weight loss jumpstart and detox plan.