High Fiber Foods for Weight Control

iDiet adheres to the best nutrition science regarding balanced nutrient composition. But there is one area we believe current science is behind, and that is fiber. The USDA recently raised the daily recommendation on fiber from 25g to 28g, but we still think that is too low. We know that humans evolved while eating over 100 grams of fiber a day, but now most Americans eat less than 20g per day. It is incorrect to study the current average consumption and then set a standard based on sub-optimal consumption.

Why we love fiber

Fiber is great for weight control, but it would be more accurate to say that fiber has many health benefits, with weight control being one factor among those many benefits.

Fiber increases the health and activity of your intestinal microbiome, which in turn strengthens your immune system, and can even help your mood and sleep! A healthy microbiome is also better at extracting vitamins from your food. Fiber also increases the health of your intestinal lining, by helping your beneficial bacteria to produce more butyrate, which helps protect and strengthen the delicate, thin intestinal walls.

For more about your microbiome, read this article about Fiber, Bacteria and your Health.

Fiber controls hunger and blood sugar

Fiber slows down the release of calories into your bloodstream, which helps to keep your blood sugar and insulin stable. Reducing spikes of sugar and insulin are essential for steady weight loss. This also helps with steady energy, which helps you resist temptations, and provides a slower return of hunger. Controlling insulin spikes also helps with Type 2 diabetes. Fiber in the intestines also takes up space which activates stretch receptors to help your brain know you’ve eaten.

Fiber-rich foods curtail excess eating

Foods high in fiber are high in satiety, in part because they stay in your stomach longer and take longer to digest. So you fill up faster and stay full longer. This means stress-eating high-fiber foods will reduce how much you eat each time. And since fiber slows the rise in blood sugar from your food, it reduces the immediate reward feedback loop in your brain that conditions you to think of food as a stress solution. Because food isn’t really a solution! We can use high fiber foods to train your brain to realize this.

Fiber lowers excess cholesterol

Your body eliminates excess cholesterol by excreting it from the pancreas into the small intestine. Without sufficient fiber in the diet, that excess cholesterol gets reabsorbed in the intestine before it can exit the body. This is the primary way that fiber helps to control cholesterol.

Fiber is part of a complete solution

These are some of the reasons we consider fiber to be the closest thing to a magic food ingredient. And that’s why our meals are designed to be higher in fiber than other major weight loss plans. Of course we also balance protein, healthy fats, and nutrients from vegetables, fruits, legumes and nuts as well, because nutrients from real food are much better than nutrients from a laboratory.

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