Fiber And Weight Control

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A study made my Dr. H.W. Heaton showed that eating high-fiber bread as opposed to white bread enabled the body to pass some calories through the system without being absorbed and to speed that transit by five times or more, thus promoting weight loss. This research sparked additional studies at the University of Michigan’s Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition.  This showed that people with high dietary fiber intake ate less food voluntarily.  They also appeared to absorb less fat in addition to the weight loss effect owing to the calories being “passed through” the body.  Their report stimulated headlines claiming: “The more bread you eat, the more weight you lose.”

As far as long-term weight management program is concerned, the evidence for inclusion of adequate dietary fiber is persuasive, but, of course, just like everything else in life, there should be balance.  If too much fiber is taken, the body may fail to absorb some essential minerals, especially zinc.

There are ways to obtain fiber in ordinary food.  Here are some of the most common sources.  Take note that fiber in itself is not caloric but the foods that contain it are.

Fruit group: About 2g fiber per serving; take four or more per day.  Each serving has about 60 calories.

Banana, 1 small

Cherries, 10 large

Apple, 1 small

Strawberries, ½ cup

Peach, 1 medium

Orange, 1 small

Plums, 2 small

Pear, ½ small

Cereal and Bread group: About 2g fiber per serving; take four or more per day.  Each serving has about 80 calories.

Rye bread, 1 slice

Whole wheat bread, 1 slice

Corn flakes, 2/3 cup

Oatmeal, dry, 3 tablespoons

All bran, 1 tablespoon

Vegetable group: About 2g fiber per serving; take four or more per day.  Each serving has about 25 calories.  These values are for cooked portions.

Carrots, 1/3 cup

Corn on the cob, 2” piece

Brussels sprouts, 4

Broccoli, ½ stalk

Lettuce, raw, 2 cups

Potato, 2” diameter

Green beans, ½ cup

Baked beans, canned, 2 tablespoons

Miscellaneous group: About 1g fiber per serving.

Peanut butter, 2 ½ teaspoons

Pickle, 1 large

Of course, in practice, you would be eating a mixture of foods which will provide enough fiber and you can probably rely on your current diet to provide at least half of what you need, especially if on a normal basis, you are eating from the above list.  The above list can help you devise your own low-calorie/ high fiber plan.

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