When most people hear the word fibre, the first thing they associate it with is keeping you regular and treating constipation. What if I told you that fibre assists with weight loss? Not convinced? Let’s take a closer look at the different types of fibre and the mechanism by which fibre assists in weight loss.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF FIBRE
Fibre is a diverse group of carbohydrates. Hold on… Did I just say carbohydrate? For those of you who are “watching the carbs” fear not, fibre cannot be digested by humans. It is therefore not a source of energy and is excreted from the body. Fibre can be classified into two groups depending on its solubility (ability to dissolve in water).
Soluble fibre blends with water in the gut to form a gel-like substance. It prolongs stomach emptying thus resulting in the reduction of blood sugar spikes. In addition to this it has various metabolic health benefits1. Sources of soluble fibre include beans, peas, oats, barley, nuts, seeds, fruits (e.g. oranges, apples) and vegetables (e.g. Brussel sprouts, turnips, asparagus, avocados).
Insoluble fibre is known as a bulking agent. It appears to help speed up the passage of food and waste through the gut. Sources of insoluble fibre include wholegrains, wheat bran, as well as fruits and vegetables with skins (e.g. those with skins such as apples, pears, carrots, potatoes, green peas).
Fibre and weight loss
Numerous studies show an inverse relationship between intake of dietary fibre and weight gain and obesity. Here’s how it works:
1. More fibre, less food
Think of your body as the scale above. In order for the scale to balance and for you to maintain the same weight, the calories you consume (in the form of food and beverages) need to match the calories used (for body functions and physical activity). If you consume too many calories, the scale will tip to the right resulting in weight gain. If you consume fewer calories than what is needed, the scale will tip to the left resulting in weight loss. Consuming fibre leads to increased satiety (feeling fuller for longer), thus resulting in a decrease of energy intake2. A high fibre diet also results in increased energy lost through stools. This overall decrease in energy intake will result in the scale tipping to the left and weight loss.
2. Fuel for bacteria
Did you know that there is an estimated 100 trillion bacteria that live in the human gut? Bacteria sound unpleasant however they are quite the opposite. These good bacteria play a vital role in health and weight management3. During the digestion of fibre, the good bacteria in your large intestine utilize the fibre as fuel.
3. Inflammation cessation
Inflammation is your body’s natural response to injury, however, long term inflammation poses serious health risks. Inflammation is a strong driver of obesity and weight gain4. Studies reveal that high fibre diets have been linked to a reduction in inflammation5.
4. Satiety velocity due to viscosity
Viscosity put simply is the thickness of a fluid. It takes a longer time to pour out the same amount of syrup when compared to the time it takes to pour the same amount of water. Syrup is therefore more viscous than water. Certain soluble fibres such as pectin’s, β-glucans and guar gum are more viscous than others6. They form a gel-like substance in the gut which prolongs the transit of food through the gut, thus resulting in appetite reduction.
Apart from weight loss, a fibre rich diet has various other health benefits. It is however important to note that fibre introduction should be done gradually. If your digestive system isn’t used to fibre you may experience a few common side effects such as bloating, flatulence, abdominal discomfort and stomach pain. These side effects are not serious and should subside. Remember to also consume plenty of water to help the fibre pass through your digestive tract.
Get healthy and that summer body you’ve always wanted by increasing your fibre intake in combination with a balanced diet and exercise.
Where does FUTURELIFE® fit in?
Reaching your daily fibre requirements is easy with FUTURELIFE® Smart Fibre™ 2in1. It is the world’s first 2 in 1 breakfast to combine fibre (bran) and live beneficial cultures (Probiotics). Not only is it high in Dietary Fibre, but also high in Protein, contains 38 Nutrients and low in Saturated Fat. I have a gut feeling you’ll love it!
FUTURELIFE® HIGH ENERGY Smart food™, FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™, FUTURELIFE® ZERO Smart food™, FUTURELIFE® ZERO with OATS, and FUTURELIFE® Smart Oats® are also high in fibre and contain added prebiotics to help keep your digestive system healthy.