When it comes to losing weight, what most people miss is the importance of fiber. If you asked me, I would say including enough fiber in your diet is the second most important rule to follow for losing weight. The first one is obviously keeping your total daily fat calorie percentage below 29% (read Livin' Slim ~ Slim Your Fat!).
So what is fiber and why is it so important with weight loss? Fiber is the 'roughage' material naturally found in fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, grains and all plants. How interesting that these very foods are the ones which are alkalizing to the body, full of enzymes, have no cholesterol and have the perfect fat calorie percentage. It's as if God placed them here for a reason.
Think of fiber like a broom scrubbing out all the debris stuck to the walls of your intestines, and then sweeping it out of your system. Fiber is your best friend, because it actually blocks fats and simple carbohydrates from absorbing into the intestines, which is why they are referred to as “fat flushers.” Fiber also speeds up digestion, which speeds up a person's metabolism, which melts off the pounds. Enough cannot be said about fiber.
So how much fiber to we need? Women should be getting at least 25-30 grams of fiber, and men need even more at 30-40 grams. There is no such thing as too much fiber. In fact the opposite is true. One study revealed that a large amount of fiber around 400 grams a day actually caused the absorption of calcium and iron to be “significantly higher.” Now I would not recommend eating this much a day, but I think we can do better than what most Americans are eating which is about 14 grams on average. Triple that amount, and I believe this is an ideal amount!
Dr. Oz, a leading heart cardiologist, has said, “Did you know a diet rich in fiber could be one of your best cancer prevention weapons? Researchers have found that both soluble and insoluble fiber reduce the risk of breast cancer, especially for women consuming upwards of 30 grams a day.” He goes on to say that, “A large study revealed that women who ate a high fiber diet of 38-77 grams a day had a greater than 20% reduction in their risk of ovarian cancer compared to those with low fiber intake.” The Mayo Clinic of Health has said, “A high-fiber diet may also help reduce the risk of obesity, heart disease and diabetes.”
A diet low in fiber causes the waste to build up and becomes a breeding area for yeast, fermenting, and disease. Your digestive tract needs fiber in order to function properly, and most Americans are not getting a smidge to make any big difference with their weight and health. With all the fast foods centered around white breads, donuts, coffee, soft drinks, candy bars, meat and cheese, how could they? In fact, it is estimated that most adults only get 14 grams of fiber per day. That is barely half! What this says, is most Americans are not getting enough whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds, but instead are centering their diet in meat and cheese which is lacking in fiber, and is loaded with cholesterol and fat. It sounds to me that fiber is huge.
My advice is to start tracking your fiber intake and go from there. If you are eating white breads, white rice, cheese and meat, then your fiber intake will be quite low and you may be surprised at how much you are lacking. In my book, Livin Slim ~ Perfect Count, I have a list of over 100 foods and their fiber grams, which will make losing weight easier than before! You will also receive the fat calorie percentages of over 250 foods! Happy Fiber Eating!