Fiber is a carbohydrate found in all types of plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains. But unlike other carbs that are burned for energy, fiber is not digested by the body. It passes quickly through the digestive tract without causing a spike in your blood sugar level. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. Both types of fiber are renowned for their weight loss benefits.
Women under 50 years old should consume at least 25 grams of fiber every day and men of the same age group should aim for 38 grams. Unfortunately, most American adults only get half of their recommended dietary allowance of fiber. Apart from protecting from heart disease and digestive problems, fiber may also help you lose weight!
How Fiber Boosts Weight Loss
Insoluble fiber boosts weight loss by prolonging the feeling of satiety. Since it’s not digested by the stomach, it sits and expands as stomach juices saturate the fiber from the food you eat. This doesn’t just prolong the feeling of fullness, it also cuts back cravings and hunger pangs. Eating fiber-rich foods will stop you from overeating.
On the other hand, soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a goopy gel inside the gut. This goop slows down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, cutting the risk of weight gain and obesity. Low sugar level in the blood also means lower insulin level. This reduces stored fat in the body.
If you are not able to get enough fiber from the food you eat, we strongly recommend taking fiber supplements.
Types of Fiber Supplements
This is a type of water-soluble fiber that comes in dried, chopped or powdered form. It’s derived from the husks of the Plantago ovate plant. When the husks and seeds are added to water, they absorb and hold the water, forming a gel matrix.
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology, psyllium husk is an ideal supplement for general health and weight loss. This fiber supplement is proven to lower bad cholesterol, regulate insulin level and even reduce hypertension.
This is another type of soluble fiber derived from elephant yam. Glucomannan typically comes in pill form and should be taken before a meal. According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, participants who took 2 to 3 grams of glucomannan over a 16 week period reported a significant decrease of LDL bad cholesterol. The participants also experienced more satisfying meals as opposed to those who did not take glucomannan supplements.
Inulin fiber is derived from oats, nuts and certain fruits. Usually, inulin supplements come in gummy or chewable form. An average gummy fiber contains about 5 grams of fiber and 5 calories. Some gummy fiber supplements are sugar-free and come in various flavors. This product is geared towards people who struggle from swallowing a tablet.
Methylcellulose is fiber derived from chemically-treated plant cellulose. This fiber is similar in structure to a polymer. When water is added, it turns into a gel matrix that absorbs and holds water. Usually, methylcellulose supplements come in flavored powdered form. You will mix it with water and take it as a juice.