Fiber is not just for Grandma anymore. Long the butt of jokes and hopelessly “un-hip,” fiber has become the Next Big Thing in nutrition as Americans become more aware of its health benefits beyond battling constipation. A recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) survey found that dietary fiber information is the only labeling component to have seen an increase in use by U.S. consumers over the past decade.
The Real Truth About Fiber
Another indicator of the importance of fiber is the attention being paid to it by the food companies with the largest research divisions. Have you noticed how many new high-fiber packaged food products have been added to the shelves in recent months? Kellogg’s, Quaker Oats, General Mills, and Proctor and Gamble are just a few of the companies offering new products with added fiber. In addition, a number of other product categories have added fiber recently as well. Take a look in the dairy case of your local grocery store and you’ll find high-fiber yogurt and high-fiber soymilk!
Why You Should Add More Fiber To Your Diet
Fiber has been proven to be very essential especially for weight loss and maintenance. If you eat a typical American diet, which consists of about 3 total servings per day of fruits and vegetables, little or no beans, and white or enriched bread and cereals, then you are probably consuming about 10 grams of fiber per day. That doesn’t sound like much when you compare it to our recommendation of 40 or more grams per day, but diets recommended in this book will make it easy for you to accomplish your goal. Just start with our recommendations for Stage One. The good news is that people who need to make the most changes also gain the most benefit, usually in the shortest period of time.
Read: 20 Free Ways To Improve Your Body Fitness Shape Faster
Perhaps you eat more than 3 but less than 9 total servings per day of fruits and vegetables. Maybe you eat some beans and usually stick to whole-grain cereals and bread. That is good—you are probably getting closer to 20 grams of fiber per day—better than average, but still not quite enough.
There may be some of you who eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, as well as beans and whole grains. Congratulations! You may be getting the 40 grams of fiber per day this book recommends. Make sure you eat fiber foods at every meal and snack, and always eat fiber foods first.
Eat fewer snacks between meals and during the four hours before bedtime. Gradually increase your physical activity. Become a nutrition detective and start paying attention to food labels. All of these actions will help you become, and maintain, a thinner, healthier you.
How Much Calories Fiber Adds
Dietary fiber makes you feel full. Add fiber to your meals and you’ll eat fewer calories. Consume fewer calories than you burn and you’ll lose weight. It’s that simple. When most people think of fiber, they think of “roughage,” like bran. Although insoluble dietary fiber is important, you also need soluble fiber. Both types of fiber are found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds.
The National Weight Control Registry tells us that 98% of the people who lost their target weight (an average of 66 pounds)—and kept it off long term— decreased their food intake to lose the weight.
The Registry clearly indicates that a reduced-calorie diet is the way to maintain weight loss.
So do you want to eat tiny portions or a full plate? The only thing that matters is how many calories you consume. Fiber contains no calories but it makes you feel full. Since fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts have lots of fiber and are easy to find, sustainable weight loss is simply a matter of buying healthy foods in the produce section of your grocery store, selecting the best products off the shelf, ordering the right foods on the menu, and not eating unless you are hungry.
- Brand-name programs sell you packaged food and ship it to you every month. Do you really want to do this for the rest of your life? The day you quit mailing them checks will be the day you start gaining back all the weight you lost.
- High-protein diets give you no limits on bacon, steak, and other fatty foods. But high protein means high cholesterol. Your eyes say yes but your heart says no. High protein = low health. Your body needs the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that can be found only in fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds.
- Gimmick diets are everywhere—the grapefruit diet, the cabbage soup diet, the lemonade diet, the Hollywood diet, the chicken soup diet, even the Russian Air Force diet. How many of these have you tried? Did any of them work? More important, were you able to keep the pounds off?
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Labels: Health and Nutrition, Relationship and Fitness