If you are trying to boost your metabolism to promote fat loss by eating a healthy diet, you will have no doubt looked at managing protein, carbohydrate and fat intake without giving much thought to dietary fiber consumption. Since high-fiber foods generally contain fewer calories than low or no-fiber foods of the same volume, they fill you up faster, limiting calorie intake.
Your body requires dietary fiber to help with bodily functions, including waste elimination, but it can also have the added benefit of boosting your metabolism, lowering your risk for developing diabetes or heart disease. By eating fiber-rich foods, you can control your blood sugar, lower your cholesterol and promote fat loss.
Although dietary fiber cannot be broken down by your digestive system, it takes longer to digest than other foods, burning more calories in the process. Dietary fiber also helps to manage blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol. By binding to the bile in your small intestine, dietary fiber blocks excess cholesterol from being absorbed into the body. Fiber regulates blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of carbs. High blood sugar increases the amount of insulin produced by the body, which sends the brain a signal to store fat.
For males, the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber is 35 grams; 25 grams for women. Here are some recommendations for good food sources that contain dietary fiber:
Oats – One cup of oats (81g) contains 8.2 grams of fiber. It helps lower levels of bad cholesterol because of a special kind of fiber called beta-glucan.
Apples – Aside from containing 2.4 grams of dietary fibre, apples contain flavonoids, antioxidants and phytonutrients, which help reduce the risk of hypertension, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.
Citrus fruits – An orange contains 3.1 grams of dietary fiber, and has the added benefits of vitamin C.
Carrots – A cup of cooked carrots contains 6.8 grams of dietary fiber and is rich in vitamins C, A, K and beta carotene, which is important for healthy eyesight.
Barley – Barley is high in beta glucan, a fiber which helps reduce bad cholesterol. A 157 gram serving of barley contains 6 grams of dietary fiber.
Peas – A cup of peas contains roughly 8 grams of fiber.
Green Beans – A cup of green beans contains 4 grams of dietary fiber as well as antioxidants.
Cauliflower – For every 100 calories of cauliflower you get up to 12 grams of dietary fiber, making it a good option to keep you full while keeping your calories down.
Eating fiber-rich foods is beneficial in lowering cholesterol, regulating blood sugar levels and boosting metabolism for fat loss. If you’re not getting enough dietary fiber, try some of the foods we’ve recommended above.
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