Fibre Intake Vital in Weight Loss
A study coming out of Massachusetts USA has reconfirmed that a single dietary change – an increase in fibre, is a simple more manageable addition to assist in weight loss. Increasing fibre intake can result in having a more “clinically meaningful weight loss” when compared to a restrictive diet. Additionally there is significant improvements in insulin resistance and blood pressure.
The US study recruited 240 individuals with metabolic syndrome (also known as insulin resistance in Australia) over 12 months who were than divided into 2 groups. One group was put on the American Heart Association diet (maximising fruit and vegetable intake, minimising sugar, salt and alcohol) while the second group was told to increase their fibre intake via fruit, vegetables and whole grains, to 30 grams per day.
Both groups were instructed not to alter their exercise regime. Over a 12 month period weight, blood pressure, blood sugar and inflammation levels were monitored for both groups. At the end of the 12 months, while there was weight loss evident in both groups there was no significant difference in weight loss between the 2 groups. This led to one of the researchers Dr Yunsheng Ma to conclude:
“By changing one thing, people in the fibre group were able to improve their diet, lose weight and improve their overall markers for metabolic syndrome.”
This one change makes it ‘do-able’ for people who have difficulty in maintaining a number of dietary improvements.
The Spinal Centre Comment
There are many aspects of this study that are not really astounding. However we have put it on the Blog for more than the pretty pictures.
The basic nutritional protocols we talk about in the clinic such as Eating to Reduce Inflammation, No Pain No Grain all involve a reduction of grains from your diet. By taking the grains out, you will naturally increase your intake of vegetables and fruit. This is a good thing.
The study shows that even a simple increase in fibre – with no other changes – has a positive effect on weight loss and other biochemical markers. Again, this is a good thing.
The patients in the trial did nothing else, just increased their vegetables, fruit and nuts. Pretty simple stuff. And you can do it too.
The reduction of grains is both difficult and easy at the same time. Difficult in so far that we are heavily marketed to every waking hour of each day to consume the cheap, easy to produce and highly addictive grains. Easy, as once you break the addiction and move up the buffet of food you have available to you, the thought of returning grains results in almost immediate negative effect on the body. Bloating, reflux, fatigue, brain fog and increased pain all return when you resume the grains.
So, how can we increase your fibre to 30 grams per day? Here are some easy modifications you can make to your daily nutrition to come closer to that ‘magic 30’.
How to Get 30 grams Fibre Into Your Daily Diet
- Choose vegetables over salad.
- Leave the skin on fruits and vegetables.
- Eat more beans and legumes.
- Eat more nuts.
- Replace fruit and vegetable juice with fruit and vegetables.
- Less processed food is far better i.e. make it fresh!
- Add crushed or ground flax seeds and coconut flour to casseroles, salads, cooked vegetables, and baked products.
- Start Blending. Blending vegetables and some fruits are a great way to seamlessly increase your fibre.
Breakfast fibre recipe
1 cup ground LSA (linseeds, sunflower seeds, almonds)
1 cup slippery elm powder
1 cup rice bran
1 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup psyllium husks
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp acidophilus powder
Add a dessertspoon to a smoothie or yoghurt each morning.
Remember to add fibre to your diet slowly.
If you are currently getting 10 grams of fibre a day, don’t jump to 30 grams of fibre the next day. You need to give the natural bacteria in your digestive system time to adapt to your new fibre intake.
People who have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) will need to proceed with caution as an increase in fibre could exacerbate the condition.
If you have leaky gut or an irritable bowel; please talk to Dr. Hooper or the Naturopathic Team on your next consultation.