Sometimes I feel like I’ve seen every fad diet, exercise gadget and weight loss program under the sun. I’ve seen the grapefruit diet, blood-type diet, alkaline diet, Mediterranean diet, and juice cleanse. I’ve watched advertisements for the Brazil Butt Lift, Ab Lounger, Thighmaster, Total Gym, Hawaii Hula Chair, and Shake Weight. I may have even tried a few of them, but I’ll keep those details to myself.
Weight loss fads all seem to have one thing in common – they don’t last for long. These “quick fix” programs are directed towards people who want to lose weight and get in shape quickly, and unfortunately, there’s just no easy way to do that.
We should all be leery of fitness programs that offer magic pills or miraculous transformations, but I will let you in on a little secret. There actually is one thing you can add to your diet that will significantly change your body. This component has been shown to reduce your appetite, promote weight loss, lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar and even reduce the risk of colon cancer! Are you ready to find out what it is?
Disappointed? Well don’t be. Evidence has shown that fiber offers a wealth of health benefits, and unlike those miracle diets and fitness programs you’ve seen on television, adding fiber to your diet won’t break the bank.
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that can’t be digested by the body. Sometimes called bulk or roughage, fiber helps to regulate the body’s use of sugars by slowing the rate at which food enters the blood stream and increasing the rate at which food exits the body through digestive system. Nutritional guidelines from the American Heart Association recommend a daily fiber intake of 25 to 30 grams per day, but most Americans only consume half that amount. That means we’re missing out on some pretty significant health benefits.
Evidence has shown that fiber can be just as effective in lowering blood sugar as some diabetic medications, and that isn’t just good news for diabetics. Well-balanced blood sugar is a crucial component in weight loss and overall health. Fiber also promotes digestion to fight constipation and irregularity. But perhaps one of the most shocking benefits of fiber is its ability to reduce colon cancer risk.
A high-fiber diet can reduce your chances of getting colon cancer by up to one third. A 2011 study published in World Journal of Gastroenterology found that butyrate, a type of fatty acid made by gut bacteria from certain types of fiber, activates the p21 tumor suppressor gene, which essentially “turns off” colon cancer (Source: EcoWatch). Isn’t that worth having a bran muffin (or two)?
Adding extra fiber to your diet really doesn’t require much effort, but it will give you the opportunity to try a colorful variety of new foods (Source: Greatist). On your next trip to the grocery store, stop by the produce section and stock up on some of these wholesome foods that pack a powerful punch in the fiber department:
There’s no easy fix for losing weight and improving your health, but building healthy lifestyle habits can make the process more manageable. Fill your home with natural food sources that are high in fiber and look for new ways to include them in your favorite dishes. Increasing your daily fiber intake will provide a wealth of health benefits and help control your appetite to prevent those unexpected hunger cravings. Getting in shape has never been so delicious or satisfying!