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Increasing fiber can help lose weight and save lives

Foods rich in fiber.
Foods rich in fiber.

Studies show that increasing your fiber intake from the normal dietary 10-15 grams to 30 – 35 grams will help reduce your appetite. Additionally taking in 35 grams or more of fiber helps to lower your risk of cancer especially among women.

Fiber is a plant derivative similar to carbohydrates. Unlike carbs, fiber is not a starch and is not digestible by humans.

Bacteria in our intestines digest the fiber into metabolites that our bodies utilize for energy. Because we are not digesting the fiber, it is considered to have no caloric value.

According to, The Scientist Magazine, fiber suppresses the appetite due to the release of acetate (a short fatty acid chain) during its digestion in bacteria. The acetate is taken up by the brain and helps in regulating the appetite.

While only 5% of acetate produced is being absorbed by the brain’s hypothalamus, which regulates hunger, the effects are dramatic resulting in appetite suppression. With a reduced appetite, one should have a lower food intake thereby lowering the total calories consumed within a day.

Would adding acetate to our diets produce the same effects? Scientists now are looking at just that. It could be a therapeutic answer to the obesity problem facing many Americans today.

An added bonus, women who ingest over 35 grams of fiber each day lower their risk for ovarian cancer by 20%!

So which foods are high in dietary fiber? Lentils, beans or legumes, grains, and nuts are a good source of dietary fiber. Soybeans are a great source offering 10.3 grams of fiber per ½ cup. Squash (including pumpkin), Brussel sprouts, raspberries and prunes also provide a high source of fiber.

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