Can fiber rich foods help with weight loss?

Weight Loss
Coach Kannan
January 11,2023

While most people know the health benefits of consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and other whole-food sources such as grains and legumes, most don’t understand why. While there are several benefits of doing so, one that’s often overlooked is fiber intake. With that said, in this article, we’ll be discussing what fiber is and why it’s important, sharing several examples of high fiber foods. We’ll then discuss how fiber helps with weight loss and easy ways to incorporate it into your diet.

What is fiber and why is it important?

Fiber is an essential nutrient that’s often ignored in most diets. While this may not be any fault of your own, it’s likely due merely to a lack of understanding of what fiber is and why it’s beneficial.

Simply put, fiber is a strain of carbohydrate that tends to lack in its ability to be digested by the gut. As a result of its lack of digestion, fiber tends to result in a feeling of fullness, otherwise known as satiety.

 

This is an important note to remember, for a primary cause of weight gain is overeating.

 

Its importance isn’t limited to its potential ability to promote weight loss and/or prevent weight gain. Rather, high fiber diets have been shown to:

  • promote heart health 
  • reduce the risk of some cancers
  • feed the good bacteria in your gut
  • have a lower glycemic index and help control blood sugar

Examples of fiber rich foods

Fiber rich foods come exclusively from plants and plant-derived sources. Foods with fiber include sources from fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. Luckily, the common diet in India is rich and abundant in grains. It can, however, lack enough fruits and vegetables in current times.

If weight loss is your primary objective or if you’re simply looking to improve your diet, following a high-fiber diet or simply consuming more foods with fiber is a great place to begin.

Below are some great examples of fiber rich foods that you should include in your diet, both to promote weight loss and improve your overall health:

 Also Read: Foods With Proteins For Weight Loss

Fruit

Particularly from the skins and seeds of the fruit, fiber is often abundant in most fruit. Some of the best fruit sources when it comes to fiber include but are not limited to:

  • Banana
  • Guava
  • Pears
  • Orange
  • Apple
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple

Other fiber rich fruits include dried fruit such as raisins and dates but these are high in sugar so best had in small amounts.

Vegetables

Not only a great additive for its nutrients but also because of its lack of calories, vegetables are great for any diet, particularly those looking to increase their fiber intake and lose weight.

fiber rich foods for weight loss

Some of the best vegetable sources when it comes to fiber include but are not limited to: 

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Bell Peppers (Capsicum)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Green peas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Eggplant (Brinjal)

Other fiber rich vegetables not commonly used in the Indian diet but high in fiber include asparagus, celery, and squash.

Grains

As mentioned, grains are often abundant in the Indian diet. This is good news, for you may not need to look far for fiber-rich meals if you’re someone from or living in India.

With that said, below are some of the best grain sources when it comes to fiber:

  • Whole wheat flour (atta)
  • Brown Rice
  • Millets
  • Oats
  • Quinoa
  • Barley

Legumes

Last but not least, legumes are also a rich source of fiber. Lucky enough, legumes, much like grains, are prevalent in most Indian diets. 

fiber rich foods for weight loss

Below are some of the best sources of fiber as it pertains to legumes:

  • Lentils (Dal)
  • Kidney Beans (Rajma)
  • Chickpeas (Channa)
  • Split chickpeas (Chana dal)
  • Whole moong beans
  • Sprouts

Other sources include edamame and garbanzo beans.

Does fiber help with weight loss? 

While there are several types of fiber (like soluble and insoluble) fiber in general may help you lose weight. But how? 

As discussed earlier, fiber is a difficult nutrient to digest, tending to reach the large intestine merely unchanged. Fiber can soak up water in the intestine, slowing the absorption of nutrients and increasing feelings of fullness. As a result of this individuals who consume high amounts of fiber often find themselves full, lacking an appetite to continue eating thereafter.

This, in short, is how fiber helps with weight loss. While it doesn’t directly impact one’s weight, it indirectly impacts one’s eating habits, thus reducing the likelihood of weight gain.

With that said, it’s important to not only consume the right fibrous foods but also prioritize whole food consumption as a means of fiber intake. In other words, fiber supplementation is not the way to add more fiber to your diet.

Easy ways to include fiber into your diet

Okay, so we’ve defined fiber and its importance, outlined several food sources that happen to be rich in fiber, and also shared its benefits regarding weight loss, gut health and more.

Now, you might be wondering, how can I incorporate fiber into my daily diet while ensuring that I’m consuming sufficient amounts? Great question! Below are several easy-to-implement strategies for including fiber into your diet regimen:

  • Begin with a fiber-rich breakfast to start your day. This may include a fruit bowl or oats porridge, for example.
  • Incorporate a portion of vegetables with every meal. Most Indian curries are rich in vegetables, just ensure it is not high in oil and fat.
  • Try a salad for dinner sometimes or if you had a heavy lunch.
  • When snacking, opt for fruits, nuts, and seeds instead of junk food or other popular snack sources.
  • Instead of fruit juice, consume the whole fruit itself.
  • Don’t peel your foods, whether fruits, vegetables, or carb sources such as potatoes.

By employing some, if not all of the aforementioned strategies, you can rest assured that you’ll be consuming sufficient amounts of fiber daily.

While fiber rich foods for weight loss is a great idea, do not add a lot of fiber rich foods to your diet very quickly as this may cause digestive issues. Slowly add more fiber to your diet over a few days or weeks to allow your digestive system to get used to it and adapt.

Conclusion

Consuming a sufficient amount of foods that are high fiber is not only a great strategy for those looking to lose weight but also for those simply looking to improve their overall health, whether it be gut health, heart health, or otherwise. Even the National Health Portal of the Indian government emphasis the need for adequate fiber in a healthy diet.

Use the ideas mentioned in this article to add more fiber rich foods for weight loss to your daily diet. They will help you with weight loss and weight maintenance.

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