Changing our diets and reducing our calorie intake can sometimes leave us feeling, well, less than satisfied. It will take your body some time to adjust, however eating this one thing can help you get from one meal to the next without sounds of a roaring belly filling the room.
So what is it?!………..
Let’s start with the basics. Dietary fiber is an indigestible carbohydrate found in various foods that we eat. Since fiber can’t be broken down by our digestive enzymes, it moves through our body slowing digestion and allows for smoother bowel movements.
Fiber has 2 classifications: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fibers absorb water and become a gel-like consistency. Since soluble fibers delay stomach emptying time, it can reduce blood sugar spikes because sugars are released more slowly. Studies have found when blood sugars are steady you feel less hungry.
You can find soluble fiber in food items such as tofu, edamame, certain vegetables and fruits. Insoluble fibers do NOT absorb water but they will add bulk which is why higher fiber diets will leave you feeling fuller (to aid in weight loss). Foods high in insoluble fibers include bran cereal, beans, lentils, whole grains, vegetables and more.
For a list of foods high in fiber click here.
Now that you have a basic understanding of how fiber can help reduce feelings of hunger you’re probably wondering how much fiber you should have each day. For a generally healthy adult, the recommended amount of fiber is anywhere from 25 grams (women)-38 (men) grams per day. Tip: if you find that you are having issues with constipation at this level of fiber intake, make sure you are consuming enough water.
If you consume a variety of whole foods at your meals chances are you are already getting enough fiber; when people eat a lot of fast or processed foods is where fiber tends to be lacking. Take some time to evaluate what you are eating…
Are you getting enough fiber?