Everyone is waiting for a miracle food that causes incredible weight loss in a short time. While that food doesn’t exist, a new study does suggest that fiber could be a major component in moderate weight loss.
According to the Annals of Internal Medicine, simply adding fiber to your diet could improve your health substantially. The study was conducted by a team of researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The group discovered that fiber has a whole range of health benefits, including improving some metabolic markers like blood pressure, blood sugar, and even cholesterol. Eating more fiber can also help people feel more full and therefore eat less in the long run.
According to Time, the study examined 240 different people with signs of prediabetes and assigned a random selection of them to the American Heart Association diet or a diet of more fiber — with no difference in exercise for either group. The AHA diet is designed to control calorie intake and reduce saturated fat, which is a traditional method of healthy weight loss. However, the other group was only asked to add foods high in fiber to their diet. These foods include vegetables, grains and fruits. This group was expected to consume a minimum of 30 grams of fiber a day.
Without any attention to fat or calories, the group who consumed more fiber lost the same amount of weight as the people on the AHA diet. While it doesn’t mean a high-fiber diet beats all other diets, this data does suggest it’s an effective method of weight loss. The study also doesn’t imply that a high fiber diet is an effective way to prevent diabetes, but it does lead to better health.
“By changing one thing, people in the fiber group were able to improve their diet and lose weight and improve their overall markers for metabolic syndrome,” said Dr. Yunsheng Ma, an author in the study.
According to MedPage Today, despite the positive outcome of a fiber diet, the groups in the study only experienced modest weight loss. In fact, neither group achieved the study goal of a seven percent decrease in body weight.
“The weight loss is modest, five to six pounds,” Ma admitted. But the fact remains that fiber could be a viable alternative for people who have difficulty with calorie-counting diets.
For those under the age of 50, the Institute of Medicine already recommends 38 grams of fiber a day for men and 25 grams of fiber a day for women.
Will you try eating more fiber for the sake of weight loss?