If you are trying to manage your weight, then you undoubtedly will have to eat less of some foods, such as junk foods and highly processed foods—including refined carbs and sugary snacks. While you are cutting back on those, however, there are some foods you should have more of.
I’m talking about foods with high fiber content.
Fiber is a natural appetite suppressant, helps support healthy blood sugar levels as well as cholesterol levels, and helps keep the digestive system working smoothly. High-fiber foods give you the bigger bang for your caloric buck because they pack a high volume of content into a low-calorie package.
The reason you feel satiated when you eat fiber-rich foods is because fiber interacts with a gastrointestinal hormone called cholecystokinin—or CCK—that is secreted by the small intestine to signal the body, “Hey, we’re getting full down here!” High-fiber foods promote and prolong the elevation of CCK in the blood, which in turn allows you to feel full for longer periods of time. Simply put, increasing your levels of CCK throughout the day can make it easier to decrease your caloric intake and still feel satisfied.
Fiber can help with weight management by satisfying your hunger so that you’re not tempted to fill up on fatty or sugary foods. Good sources of fiber are nuts, seeds, beans, whole grain sprouted breads, whole grains such as quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, millet and brown rice. Green peas, carrots, cucumbers, zucchini and tomatoes are good, too. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and fresh fruit are also high in fiber.
Fiber-rich foods include:
• Most berries
• Oat bran
• Vegetables with edible skins
In practical terms, this means upping your consumption of fresh vegetables with your meals and eating fresh fruits for dessert. Fiber is like a sponge that soaks up fat and sugar in your gut and slows and prevents some of their absorption, which can help you manage your weight.
Having said that, go ahead and eat to your heart’s content—your fiber-rich foods, that is.