Blog Post - News, Views and Tips
Increasing the amount of fibre in your diet can assist in achieving a successful weight loss program. As is well known, it helps you feel fuller for longer, which results in you eating less because you don’t feel hungry again quite so soon. However it also helps regulate your body’s digestive system and generally helps you eliminate built up toxins from the body.
There are two forms of fibre; Soluble and Insoluble. Both complement each other and both are required, but each has a different effect within the human body.
Fibre in this form helps slow down digestion and absorption, and is fermented by the bacteria in your colon into Short Chain Fatty Acids (SCFA). SCFAs suppress Cholesterol synthesis by the liver and reduce blood levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides responsible for atherosclerosis, or clogging of the arteries.
Its fermentation forms a gelatinous substance and is not digested, and has a laxative effect speeding up the waste through your digestive tract. Not only that, but it also inhibits the rate of flux of sugar from the intestine into the blood stream. This is a healthy thing because it gives your liver a chance to fully metabolize what’s coming in for processing. Fibre therefore helps prevent sugar spikes which can lead to insulin resistance.
This one of the reasons why eating fruit or veg, as wholefoods is better for you than consuming them juiced. The food itself contains fibre which their juiced version lacks, and this deficiency allows sugar spikes to occur leading to higher insulin levels which causes the body to store the excess sugar as body fat. With the whole food, the fibre slows down the release of the sugars into the bloodstream allowing the body to react with a more stable insulin response.
Soluble fibre itself is made of gums and other constituents of plant cells, and takes longer to pass through the stomach making you feel full for longer, and it also swells in water and make your stools more comfortable to pass.
Good sources are; oats and oat bran, citrus fruit, apples, blueberries, pears, lentils, beans, peas, carrots, cucumbers, celery, nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and most fruit and veg.
This is known as roughage, which consists of cellulose which absorbs water a little but is passed through the bowel undigested. It therefore adds volume to your diet, helping you feel fuller. Due to the added bulk of your stools it means that your intestinal peristalsis (contractions) has something more solid to push against, instead of mush, so they pass well formed.
Good source are; wheat bran, wholegrain cereals, cous cous, brown rice, potato skins, leafy veg, carrots, raisins, grapes, seeds and nuts, in fact most fruit and veg.
Both types of fibre help prevent heart disease, diabetes, obesity and constipation, but you must ensure that you drink enough fluids when you increase your fibre intake, as otherwise it can actually cause constipation. Remember though that too much fibre can be as bad as too little, as fibre has phytates which interfere with the absorption of iron. In order to negate this effect you should also consume something with ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) in alongside your fibre rich meal, e.g. a small glass of orange juice.