You probably have a friend– or maybe you are that friend– who could eat just about anything and gain…just about nothing. But if you’re like the rest of us, you’re more likely to eat an ounce of something and gain everything– so what’s the deal with that?
According to researchers from the University of Illinois, the answer lies in an old weight-loss friend that many of us seem to have forgotten: fiber. Fiber is a true weight-loss friend for a few reasons; for one, it encourages good gut bacteria, while simultaneously battling back bad gut bacteria!
This is the real reason your friend stays overweight– no matter how many diets he/she tries– while your skinny friend stays skinny– no matter how much they consume.
Having a healthy population of gut bacteria (achievable when you consume more fiber) was linked to leaner individuals, while a lower population of healthy bacteria can bring about “a cesspool where fat-forming bugs dominate,” claims Julia Westbrook, health writer and expert for Rodale News.
But when you feed your good gut bacteria healthy, prebiotic foods, such as sour cherries, berries, asparagus, beans, and bananas, says Gerard E. Mullin, MD, author of the upcoming book The Gut Balance Revolution, you can help your body kickstart the weight-loss process.
But the buck doesn’t stop there: more fiber is so much more than just your weight-loss buddy. According to Elizabeth Lipski, PhD, CCN, CHN, author of Digestion Connection, “diets high in soluble fiber” can better manage conditions like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and even peptic ulcer, while also helping to lower the risk of “colon polyps and bowel disease.” Fiber has even been found in connection with heart disease protection and cancer protection.
With all those health benefits, why wouldn’t you want more fiber in your daily diet? As someone who falls into the fortunate category of “couldn’t gain weight if I ate an entire city,” I don’t need fiber for its weight loss benefits– but I certainly need it for all these other listed health perks! Whether big or small, short or tall, we could all find value in a friendship with fiber! You may be thinking that you don’t even know where to start with your search for fiber. Well, guess what? That’s totally fine, because that just means that you will have to go searching through the ingredients labels on your favorite foods. In the process, you might find that you’ve been eating things low in fiber, and all-around terrible for you.
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