The Power of Fiber in Controlling Weight: What a New Study Reveals

30 Sep, 2023 | Dr. Malik | No Comments

The Power of Fiber in Controlling Weight: What a New Study Reveals

Recent research sheds light on the role of fiber and starchy foods in our diet and their impact on weight gain. Here’s a breakdown of the study and what it means for us.


The Findings:

  • The study, published in the British Medical Journal, investigated the dietary habits of 136,432 individuals, primarily healthcare professionals, in their mid-life (average age of 51.6).
  • Results suggest that increasing intake of whole foods, fiber, fruits, and non-starchy vegetables is linked to reduced weight gain over time.
  • On average, participants gained about 3.3 pounds every four years. However, those who consumed an extra 100 grams of starchy foods daily saw a 3.3-pound higher weight increase over four years. Conversely, adding just 10 grams of fiber daily resulted in 1.7 pounds less weight gain.

Expert Views:

Amanda Sauceda (MS, RD) emphasized the underappreciated role of fiber in diets. She described it as “so powerful” even if it isn’t a trendy nutrition topic. Kimberly Gomer (MS, RD/LDN) stressed the importance of viewing weight management in a realistic manner. Rather than focusing solely on weight loss, it’s about minimizing the weight gain typical of many Americans.

The Participants:

The study involved a demographic often challenged by specific barriers like metabolic changes, onset of age-related conditions, and a busy lifestyle due to work and family. Importantly, participants were free from major medical conditions. Hence, the results may not directly apply to those with such health challenges.

However, Gomer pointed out that healthcare professionals, a significant portion of the study’s participants, often have demanding work schedules, leading to poor eating habits. This observation might make the findings even more pertinent to a wider audience.

Tips to Boost Fiber Intake:

A simple shift in diet can lead to increased fiber consumption:

  • Nuts and Seeds: As Sauceda suggests, they are hassle-free, requiring no preparation.
  • Beverage Choices: Monitoring and choosing drinks with less added sugar can make a difference.
  • Swap Processed Foods: Costa advises replacing ultra-processed foods with whole foods to naturally increase fiber intake. Keeping healthier options, like fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, within reach can assist in this transition.

The Bottom Line:

By midlife, opting for high-fiber foods over starchy meals can play a significant role in preventing weight gain.



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