Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Increased fibre intake decreases weight and body fat among women

When asked what kind of food do you think keeps you fuller for longer, most people would say fat or possibly protein. But it’s actually fibre. It’s slow to digest thereby keeping us feeling satiated for longer. Fibre is a healthy mix of carbs and fat while at the same time cleans out the bowel.   But beware - we're not talking about going to the supermarket and stocking up on 'fibre rich' cereals.   Read on, to see what we mean.

A recent study among 252 women followed over 20 months investigated the impact of different types and amounts of fibre on body weight and body fat.

Across the 20 month time frame, almost 50% of the women gained weight and body fat. Among the women who did not gain weight, each gram of dietary fibre consumed on top of their usual intake contributed to a 0.25kg decrease in body weight and 0.25% decrease in body fat. Different types of fibre appeared to contribute to the changes in body weight and body fat, most likely due to the fact that eating high fibre foods helps reduce the amount of energy (kilojoules) people eat over time.

It didn’t matter whether the women were active or how much dietary fat they ate – the effect of fibre on reducing weight and body fat was the same. But please don’t take this as meaning exercise is now no longer necessary, ‘I’ll just eat fibre’. Exercise is vital as it helps the fibre do its job way better.   If there's one thing the body is not designed for, that's movement.   The body must move.   With exercise the digestion process is kept moving efficiently and so if you want to drop kilos and lose the belly fat, it's essential that the body eliminates waste effectively.   This means, fibre and plenty of water is essential to keep flushing the system of toxins.   If you can have a good healthy bowel movement twice a day, you're on track.    Much less than this, and I'd suggest you go and find out why, OR increase your fibre intake.

So my message is - Adding good quality fibre like wholegrain foods, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts can boost your daily fibre intake, which may in turn help keep your weight in check. Think twice about buying all bran cereals that promote lots of fibre – that’s definitely not considered good fibre. Bran husks have absolutely no nutritional value about them at all.   Good quality fibre that is mainly fruit and vegetable derived, is well known to keep you full and satisfied for longer than any other kind of food. It in turn prevents us from heading toward the fridge to fill up on sugars or carbs while holding the hunger pangs at bay.

Source: Journal of Nutrition, March 2009

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