Tuesday, October 9, 2012

What is fiber and how can it help you with weight loss?

Not a day goes by when you don't see a commercial extolling the benefits of a high fiber diet. Fiber is an indigestible component of many foods such as fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grain. Even though our bodies cannot digest fiber it is a very important addition to our diets that helps us maintain our good bacteria and proper hormone balance in our gut through regular elimination.

People who eat plenty of fiber are typically healthier weights than their counterparts. By eating enough fiber you'll lower your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, colon cancer, and breast cancer. In addition, you'll control your weight better because fiber makes you feel full longer. Think about how full you feel when you eat a large apple. It's the fiber doing it because apples are very low in calories.

Eating fiber rich foods have less calories per serving than non fibrous highly processed alternatives. Eating them will cause you to eat less over all because you'll be full on less calories. A good example is store bought fruit juices such as apple juice. Many people serve apple juice as a healthy alternative to soda but the sad fact is, most pasteurized fruit juices aren't really that healthy. You're better off eating your fruit than drinking it. Drink healthy filtered water instead of fruit juice with the exception of high pulp natural citrus juice and you'll find that you're full longer, and you'll get more nutrition from the fruit.

Replacing items on your dinner plate with high fiber content sources will go far in helping you maintain a healthy weight. Keep the foods as close to their natural state as possible. For instance, instead of boiling broccoli, try eating it raw or just lightly steaming it until it's bright green and still crunchy. This will maintain the most fiber content as well as water content which will add to how full you feel when you eat it.

Start every meal with either a raw fruit plate, veggie plate, or mixed salad. Remember to be light on dressings so that you don't ruin the added fiber with high fat ingredients. A good idea for limiting the fatty salad dressings that often ruin the nutritional aspects of a good garden salad, is to not put the dressing directly on the salad, but just dip the tongs of your fork into the dressing in a side cup, and then stab your fork into the crunchy salad, making a nice bite. That way, each piece gets the taste of dressing. Doing this, you'll likely not even eat an entire tablespoon of dressing. Alternatively, you can make lovely dressings by blending various fruits together such as a mango, tomatoes and some spices such as onion, basil, and garlic. You can do this in a simple blender or the magic bullet.

When you are reaching for a snack always choose raw foods such as any fruits and veggies in their whole raw form that are crunchy. You cannot over eat on these crunchy raw foods and the added fiber will satisfy you a lot better than crackers and cheese between meals, and for less calories, not to mention more vitamins and minerals too! There is no need to go hungry or suffer when replacing processed foods with high fiber natural foods for weight loss.

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