Registered Dietitian Anne Marie Kuchera is here to fill you in on some recent research on the benefits of fiber in helping people to lose weight. Read on for more details!
By Anne Marie Kuchera, MS, MA, RD, LPC
If you are working hard to lose or manage your weight by tracking calories, reducing your intake of saturated fat, or counting carbohydrates, there may be a simpler approach – boost your fiber intake. A study recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine examined what would happen if dieters focused solely on eating 30 grams of fiber each day, versus the American Heart Association’s (AHA) more detailed dietary recommendations that includes 30 grams of fiber per day in addition to several more recommendations such as eating fish twice per week, and less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day. While the AHA’s recommendations are effective for weight loss, they can also be a challenge to sustain over the long-term.
After one year, all participants who stayed with the study were successful in losing weight, whether they were in the fiber only group or the AHA group, with the AHA group reporting only slightly more weight loss. The participants in the fiber-only group, however, did a better job of adding more fiber to their diets. By focusing just on increasing fiber consumption, their intake rose by nearly five grams per day to a total of 23.5 grams. The AHA group increased their fiber consumption by just 1.3 grams per day.
With the average American eating just 16 grams of fiber each day, there is definitely room for improvement to reach 30 grams. That being said, by eating a primarily whole foods diet, this is 100% realistic and achievable. Fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grain breads and cereals can all help you get there. In addition, with 12 grams of fiber per bar, NuGo’s Fiber D’Lish bars are another realistic, achievable, and sustainable option for boosting your fiber intake, and assisting with weight management goals.
Anne Marie Kuchera, MS, MA, RD, LPC is a registered dietitian, and both a licensed nutritionist and licensed professional counselor. She manages community-based obesity prevention and preventive health and wellness initiatives through Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC.