A bit about fibre…
Fibre has many health benefits and roles. From aiding digestion, stabilising blood sugar and aids fat loss. Fibre is a carbohydrate than cannot be digested by humans and is broken into two types, Insoluble and soluble.
Insoluble fibre function is mostly a bulking agent, whereas soluble fibre can have amazing effects on health and the metabolism. The fibre can help aid fat loss but must contain certain properties.
Apples, nuts, blueberries, beans and oat meal.
Health benefits Protects the heart, fat loss, healthy bowel movement and lower risk of diabetes and heart diseases. Fibre is not easily absorbed into the body and has little effect on blood sugar so has a minimal blood sugar spike.
Brown rice, whole wheat bread, skins of fruit and fruit seeds.
Health benefits Fat loss and weight management. Fibre helps you to feel fuller for longer which aids towards fat loss plans.
Rich sources of viscous fibre
Beans, legumes, flaxseeds, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, oats etc.
Healthy digestive system that aids normal function of bowel movements. Increase insoluble rich foods to help get things moving a bit quicker if you have been suffering from constipation.
To get a balance of both, aim to eat a varied diet of vegetables with a bit of fruit throughout the day. Aim to eat fruits that have skin on that are edible. Snack on seeds and nuts and have easy digestible carbs like potato or sweet potato for tea. Slowly increase fibre intake as it is common if brought in too quickly to get abdominal discomfort, cramps etc.
Fibre and fat loss
Fibre feeds the friendly bacteria in the gut. Different types of bacteria in our gut play important roles in various aspects of health including weight management, blood sugar control, immunity and even brain function. So for this reason alone, it’s important we keep the friendly bacteria in our gut well and healthy in to feel and function to our best! Nourishing the friendly bacteria in the intestine is known as a prebiotic effect.
Soluble fibre passes through the digestive system mostly unchanged and it reaches the friendly bacteria in the intestine which will then ‘feed’ and digest the fibre to use it for usable energy. The good bacteria helps fight inflammation
What is inflammation?
Acute inflammation is the body’s response to fight foreign invaders and repair damaged cells. It is beneficial in the short term, but chronic inflammation plays a major role and is associated with many diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s and metabolic syndrome.
Several studies show that a high fibre diet is linked to lower levels of inflammatory markers in the blood stream. The gut bacteria produce nutrients for the body, including short chain fatty acids that feed the cells in the colon which leads to a reduced gut inflammation and improved inflammatory disorders.
Can help towards reducing appetite
Viscous fibre can help reduce your appetite and help you to feel fuller for longer. Fibre is believed to help hit the satiety point which makes us think less and crave other foods, making fat loss plans easier to sustain long term.
Fibre is often believed to have this effect… that is, making us feel more satiated so that we eat less. This seems only to be relative to the more viscous the fibre is though when playing a part at reducing appetite and food intake.
Fibre supplements and fat loss
Fibre supplements are made by isolating the fibre from the plants. Fibre supplementation for fat loss is mixed but the fibre supplement will have health benefits even more so for those who have digestive issues. Fibres such as Psyllium Husks – although may not directly supplement fat loss, it will help with better digestion and a healthy gut with good digestion is key to fat loss.
Glucomannan, a fibre extracted from the konjac root is a viscous dietary fibre and studies have shown this to cause modest weight loss when supplemented.
Bringing foods rich in fibre can be an effective to aid fat loss but like any other fat loss method, doing only this won’t lead to long term results. Lifestyle factors such as a healthy diet, exercise and sleep all play a part. Even so, fibre plays a big part in health and digestion, so for that reason alone we should be eating plenty of fibre from real foods.