Plant fiber is one of the great boons of nature which should be part of our food everyday. Most doctors recommend fiber and tell us that it is required for good gut health and bowel. There are many other benefits of fiber such as prevention of cancer and weight loss to name a few.
One of the ways fiber helps lose weight is due to its ability to prevent absorption of sugar into the blood stream fast. Due to this excess insulin is not created and released in to the bloodstream quickly, which converts sugar and deposits as fat.
There is another ways fiber prevents weight gain. It reduces your appetite.
So How Does Fiber Reduce Appetite?
Dietary fiber is present in everyday used fruits and vegetables such as green leafy vegetables, fruits such as avocado, apples, pears and guava. It is also present in nuts and seeds such as flax seeds, which are eaten regularly.
In an article published by nature communication based on research done, it was found that bacteria acts on the fiber in the guts and produces a short-chain fatty acid called acetate. Scientists tried to track how acetate affects the body and brain. They found that acetate travels to the brain in hypothalamus and fires appetite suppressing neuron called pro-opiomelanocortin.
Scientists also found that acetate suppresses the appetite even if you inject it directly to the blood stream.
They also found that another soluble fiber called inulin which is found in several plants such as beet also suppresses hunger. In an experiment two groups of mice were fed high fat diet. One group was given inulin while the other one not given inulin. They observed that inulin fed mice ate less and gained lesser weight compared to the other group.
This is one of the reasons why Metamucil is effective for weight loss.
Is Insufficient Fiber Root Cause of Obesity?
It is not always accurate to say that less fiber will always result in obesity. For example of you eat meat products but in overall diet is very less then you may not suffer from obesity. However, from the above we may draw a conclusion that obesity epidemic happening since the last few decades may be caused due to low fiber diet which is mostly refined food. More fiber you take lesser are the chances of obesity.
Try to increase your fiber intake by taking more fruits and veggies and you will be blessed with better health. If you still find that your intake is not sufficient you can always go for supplements such as Psylllium based products such as Metamucil or other products such as Benefiber which will also help you avoid weight gain.