Lose weight my increasing your fiber intake. That’s what a new study shows.

We know fiber is great for moving things through our digestive system. But what’s less well-known is what lifesaving benefits it may have, how is can help with weight loss and how much we should be consuming.

Lose Weight and Get Healthy with Fiber

Did you know that you can lose weight by just eating more fiber rich foods? A high fiber diet can also reduce the risk of many diseases.

In a new study published in the Lancet, researchers found that people with a higher fiber intake had a 15 to 30 percent decrease in disease-related mortality, frequency of coronary heart disease and stroke, type 2 diabetes, and colon cancer. Those with a higher fiber intake also had lower body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol compared to those with a low fiber intake.

How Fiber Research Was Conducted

  • The World Health Organization analyzed research from 185 studies, 58 clinical trials, and 4,635 participants to uncover some answers.
  • The researchers were interested in determining the ideal carbohydrate to protect against chronic diseases like cardiovascular diseases, cancer and diabetes mortality, and other risk factors.
  • To do so, they compared several indicators of carbohydrate quality with these outcomes.

Results of Increased Fiber Diet

  • The results showed that an intake of fiber between 25 grams and 29 grams daily was optimal for the largest reduced risk of developing the associated negative health outcomes.
  • This is not far off from The Institute of Medicine recommendations, which suggests females under the age of 50 consume 25 grams daily and 21 grams for females over 51. Males under 50 are recommended to consume 38 grams and for males over 51, 30 grams.

Unfortunately, most Americans are not getting enough fiber in their diet. A study in 2008 found that Americans were getting only about 16 grams of fiber a day. That is far short of the recommended amount

The Many Health Benefits of Fiber

There are many benefits to a high-fiber diet.

  • One big benefit is that research shows that it could protect against cancer.
  • It’s also great for your heart health because it helps regulate blood sugar and decrease clogging of arteries.
  • Including more dietary fiber in your diet is a good way to substitute plant-based, nutrient-dense food, for refined sugar and white carbohydrates.
  • Fiber can also help with weight loss. When fiber is fermented in the large intestine, it produces hormones that help reduce your hunger. Since you will feel full longer you are less likely to snack on junk foods.
  • Fiber is known to support a diverse microbiome as it populates healthy bacteria in the gut. That helps support the immune system, regulate inflammation, and improve mood.

How to Eat More Fiber and Lose Weight

Here are some very easy ways to use a higher fiber diet to lose weight:

  • legumes (black beans, lentils, peas) in your soups and on your salads,
  • artichokes (also a prebiotic) with some garlic and olive oil,
  • broccoli in a stir fry,
  • Brussels sprouts as a side,
  • avocados with everything,
  • chia seeds on your morning oatmeal, and
  • kale in your smoothies.

A Word of Caution: When beginning to incorporate more fiber into your diet, you’ll want to gradually increase your fiber intake. Otherwise, the additional fiber may cause gas and bloating.

Click here to read full study about how a high fiber diet can help you lose weight.