EDITOR'S NOTE: Living a healthier lifestyle is a truly global ambition. With that in mind, meet Dr. Racha Sankar. She operates a bariatric center in Damascus, Syria but earned her degree in diet and nutrition at Florida International University. Our worldly friend is here with a blog about fiber.
At my clinic, the most common complaint I hear is: Help! I simply cannot lose weight anymore!
My first question: Are you constipated?
The usual response: Yes... and I am always feeling bloated after each meal!
From my practice, I realized that we choose foods more wisely when we are dieting but we tend to forget the most important nutrient in our foods. We fail to consider the amount of fiber we consume.
And we end up with constipation, a slower metabolic rate, bloating... and giving up on dieting. The sad result is that we regain any weight that we managed to lose.
FACT: The more fiber we consume each day the more satisfying the results we experience.
The human body lacks a fiber-digesting enzyme, so the fiber we eat gets into and out of our bodies without being digested. It means fiber does not provide us with calories.
However, fiber does not work without water. I've found that the average human body needs 29 gram of fiber and 8-10 cups of water a day.
FACT: Fiber does magical actions with water!
When you eat fiber-rich food and drink a cup of water right after it, fiber mass gets into your stomach. There water gets it puffy. So, this puffy fiber mass occupies a larger space of your stomach, letting you get full faster.
The digestion process begins. You drink a cup of water which pushes the puffy fiber mass down further. This puffy fiber mass absorbs more water to arrive to your small intestine even puffier.
In the small intestine, most of nutrients are digested and absorbed, but with fiber the digestion and absorption will be delayed starting with sugar first and then fat. Fiber will not let sugar fly into your bloodstream as fast as it used to do. Therefore, you will not experience the sudden sugar high after meals.
Fiber also partially binds to bile salts, the fat emulsifier. This results in partially indigested fat.
According to some studies, fiber will also partially stop the cholesterol synthesis in our bodies.
So now you drink water and the puffier fiber mass arrives to your colon. It's big and puffy -- and scraping along the walls of your colon. When the huge fiber mass moves inside your colon, it grabs toxins stuck to colon walls and any materials left from the digestion process.
It then plunges all this waste material out of your body.
Studies have showen that the feces of someone who has consumed fiber-rich foods will be full of toxin, digestions materials, and partially undigested fat.
If you want to lose more weight, fiber will make it easier for you by relieving constipation, which is one of the main reasons people hit a diet plateau while dieting. When you are constipated your metabolic rate runs slower.
Fiber is great for flushing out your system and kick-starting your metabolism. Fiber will remove toxins in your colon and soon you do not experience bloating and discomfort after eating.
First, fiber is zero calories. second, it gets puffier with water. The puffier it is, the larger space it occupies in your stomach. And the quicker you feel full.
Fiber delays digestions and allows for better absorption of nutrients. And it delays your feelings of hunger.
Each of the following provides you with between 2.5 grams and 3 grams of fiber:
Dr. Racha Sankar is an American/Syrian pharmacist who received her degree in Dietetics & Nutrition from Florida International University. Dr. Sankar is owner of Fat2Slim Bariatric Center located in Damascus, Syria. There she works with bariatric patients and other patients with chronic diseases. Dr. Sankar developed the first food analysis software for Arabic cuisine. For further information, check out her website