Fantastic Fiber: Lose Weight and Feel Fuller, Longer

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One of the challenges of losing weight is feeling hungry. Our nutrition experts give us some tips to feel satisfied while tipping the scale in your favor.

One of the challenges of losing weight is feeling hungry. Our nutrition experts give us some tips to feel satisfied while tipping the scale in your favor. 

The struggle to lose weight is real. Nearly 70 percent of American adults are either overweight or obese, according to the American Heart Association.

Being overweight not only gives you tighter jeans, but more importantly, an increased risk for diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and heart disease. The good news is you don’t have to starve or feel deprived to lose weight and improve your overall health.

Feel Fuller, Longer

You might remember your Mom saying, “Eat your veggies and fruit.” And she was right. Feeling full is about the volume of food, its water content and calorie density. (A calorie, simply put, is a unit of energy needed for us to survive.) For example, a snack of 20 almonds are about 100 calories, or you could eat 25 strawberries, packed with 5 grams of fiber and more than 200 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement. Nuts, on the other hand, are higher in calories, and a typical snacker will eat until they feel full, which can add up to the calories in a meal (about 500-700 calories), instead of a snack.

According to the USDA, eating vegetables instead of other higher-calorie food on a regular basis will help you to not only lose weight, but will reduce your risk of developing kidney stones, protect against certain types of cancer and help to decrease bone loss.

“When you slowly and consistently expand your daily food choices to include more plant based options, you will feel fuller, have more energy and lose weight,” says Lynice Anderson, director of Renown’s Healthy Heart Program.

Fantastic Fiber

There are two ways to trick your body to feel full while still cutting back on calories. The first is to fill up on water (or foods with a high-water content), and the second is to fill up on fiber-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans.

The Food and Drug Administration considers fiber a “nutrient of public health concern” because low intakes are associated with potential health risks such as cardiovascular disease and colon cancer. The recommended amount of fiber for an adult is 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams for men.

Fiber contains no calories and comes in two forms: soluble, which dissolves in water, and insoluble, which doesn’t dissolve. Both are important for different reasons. The soluble fiber found in oats, fruits and beans forms a gel-like substance and helps to lower blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Insoluble fiber found in fruit skins, green beans and cauliflower goes through your intestines relatively intact providing “bulk” and improving bowel-related health problems.

“My fiber champion is chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans,” says Renown Chef Chris Wyatt. “They are high in fiber, low in fat, low sodium and have zero cholesterol. Not only do they not contain any cholesterol, chickpeas work to remove cholesterol from your body. It’s a win-win.”

 

You can eat more fiber by incorporating these foods into your everyday meals and snacks:

Lentils: 15.6 grams of fiber per cup

Black beans: 15 grams per cup

Artichokes: 10 grams in a medium, cooked artichoke

Peas: 8.8 grams per cup, cooked

Raspberries: 8 grams per cup

Pears: 5.5 grams in a medium pear

Broccoli: 5.1 grams per cup

Brussels sprouts: 4 grams per cup

Apples: 4 grams of fiber in a medium apple

Oatmeal: 4 grams of fiber per cup

To get an assessment on your specific dietary needs, schedule a consultation with one of Renown’s registered dietitians at Renown Health Improvement Programs. Call 775-982-5073.

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