Although we generally associate fatty foods with weight gain, low-fiber diets may also contribute to weight gain. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fiber scoots through the gastrointestinal track and nourishes the bacterium in the large intestine. Soluble fiber, on the other hand, absorbs water in the gut and can bind to cholesterol and bile acids, helping eliminate them from the body. Soluble fiber is also digested the slowest, meaning it satisfies the appetite, and can help regulate blood sugar levels. Researches located at the Institute for Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State found that mice supplemented with a diet rich in soluble fiber had decreased weight gain and less fat accumulation compared to mice that supplemented a diet deficient in soluble fiber. What’s more, is that the mice nourished with a high soluble fiber diet had increased production of short-chain fatty acids, which are readily used by the body. Overall, this data supports the claim that a diet rich in soluble fiber may play a role in weight management by increasing the production of short-chain fatty acids. The recommended daily allowance of fiber for adult males and females under 50 is 38 g and 26 g, respectively. Males and females over 50 should aim for about 30 g and 21 g, respectively.
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