Did you know that dietary fiber (soluble) slows the time it takes food to leave the stomach? This slower rate of digestion creates a feeling of satiety i.e. you feel fuller longer. Also, once the stomach contents move into the small intestine, those same dietary fibers can affect a wide variety of gastrointestinal hormones that affect appetite.* So dietary fiber actually works in several ways to make it easier to reduce your caloric intake for weight management.
A study at the University of Liverpool, England, tested the effect of dietary fiber on satiety. Ninety (90) normal to overweight participants consumed a smoothie for breakfast containing a dose of either 20g or 30g of a fiber ingredient or a non-active control. Their intake of food at lunch and dinner that same day were measured and they were asked about their levels of hunger. When the fiber ingredient was taken at breakfast, food intake at both lunch and dinner were reduced by up to 7%, influenced to some degree by the dose of the fiber ingredient. Study participants reported feeling less hunger after breakfast with both doses and less hunger after lunch with the 30g dose. It is especially pertinent that the effects on appetite were apparent throughout the day.** This study demonstrates what many of us already know from experience, that a diet high in fiber make you feel fuller and keeps you that way longer. So if you are trying to manage your weight, fiber is the perfect partner.
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*Health benefits of dietary fiber.” Nutrition Reviews, April 2009. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2009.00189.x/full
**University of Liverpool. “Fibre-based satiety ingredient shown to make you eat less.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2014. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140826100851.htm
“Dietary fiber, inulin, and oligofructose: a review comparing their physiological effects.” Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 1993;33(2) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8257475