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If you are planning to lose weight and have done your bit of research on how to achieve it through diet, you might be well aware of the role of fibre. However, what most of us are unaware is -- how much fibre do you need to lose weight and how much is too much? Hence, to help you lose weight in a healthy way with fibre, Ms Rina Baliga, Dietician, Fitness First India, sheds light on the common queries on fibre and weight loss.
How much fibre should you eat daily to lose weight?
The first and foremost thing to lose weight is to have a balanced diet. And as far as the amount of fibre is concerned in the diet, you need 14gms every 1000 calorie diet on a daily basis. Hence, you can consume anywhere between 25-40 gms fibre on a daily basis to get your weight loss regimen on track with diet. Here are fibre-rich foods that aid in weight loss!
How to increase the absorption of fibre through food?
To know the answer for this, you need to know how fibre is acted upon and its role in bowel movement. The food you consume is acted upon by gastric juices and digestive enzymes. The digested food then moves to the small intestine where the nutrients are released, absorbed and transported into the blood stream. However, fibre is that part of the food which is not digested (by humans) as we do not possess the enzyme to digest it. Hence, it acts as bulk/roughage to ensure regular bowel movement. As fibre is neither digested nor absorbed, you cannot increase the absorption of fibre through food. Not just weight loss, here are few more reasons you should eat fibre-rich foods.
What type of fibre is good for weight loss?
The fibre present in food holds liquid in the stomach causing it swell up and thus, ease the movement of bowels. There are two types of fibre -- soluble fibre and insoluble fibre. Insoluble fibre helps food pass through the digestive system and soluble fibre helps reduce cholesterol and fat in the body. It's because of the soluble fibre, sugars and fat enter the blood stream slowly and maintain a steady supply of energy to the body. On the other hand, consumption of foods that are low in fibre or that lack fibre spikes blood sugar quickly and makes you hungry. This causes you to eat more, leading to overeating and weight gain. Moreover, foods rich in fibre are usually low in calories and keep you full for a longer period, helping you to keep your weight under check.
How much fibre is too much?
An average individual should not consume more than 40gms of fibre on a daily basis. This is because, if you overeat fibre or have too much of fibre too, it can lead to gas and bloating. The body also suffers from diarrhoea; constipation (if you consume excess fibre and have a low intake of water), abdominal cramps due to indigestion and intestinal blockage. Moreover, it also leads to malabsorption of minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Here's more on health risks of having too much fibre.
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