Happy New Year to you and your family and loved ones. Are you all talking about your New Year’s resolutions? Weight loss seems to be on the top of everyone’s list.
One of the most-asked questions I get at my wellness center is from patients wanting to know easy ways to keep those extra few pounds from sneaking up on them during the year.
The first thing I tell them to do always catches people off guard:
You can stop fat fast by eating “slow” moving fiber.
Foods with fiber lengthen the time it takes your stomach to empty after a meal. This slows down the release and absorption of sugar in your blood.
That means you produce less insulin, and less fat is created and stored.
You see, insulin is the hormone that governs fat production and storage. The less you release, the slimmer you become.
Today’s processed and grain-filled foods produce such a storm of insulin there’s never enough to process all the blood sugar.
What’s left over gets stored as body fat. So the key to reducing your body’s fat storage is not to let too much food get broken down into blood sugar too fast in the first place.
That’s where fiber comes in..
Foods with fiber help slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream.
When you eat high-quality fiber with a meal, you slow down the “emptying” of your stomach.
This slows the rate at which your body breaks down the food into simple sugars. As a result, your insulin levels remain stable. That reduces the amount of fat you produce and store.
Research shows that consuming just 5 grams of soluble fiber before or with each meal can significantly blunt the blood sugar-insulin surge.
Large population studies show people in countries that consume more soluble fiber weigh less.
Here are my seven steps to get more natural fiber so you can stop any excess weight from creeping up on you, and help you drop excess weight starting now:
- Fruit skin is the best skin: The pulp isn’t the most important part for extra fiber and dropping pounds. The skins are a MAJOR source of fiber. So leave it on whenever you eat fruit. Blueberries are my favorites because of the heart-healthy nutrients as well. But they also have a fiber-rich skin. Kiwis are a good example. Many people don’t like the skin, but it TRIPLES the fiber you get from a kiwi.
- The anti-grain fiber: Conventional wisdom says you should eat grains to get your fiber. That’s a mistake. Instead, load up on veggies. The best source of fiber is fibrous vegetables like broccoli, collard greens, squash, eggplant and spinach.
- Am I nuts: The fiber found in nuts is one of the most effective. Walnuts are a great choice. So are almonds. Eat a handful a day for a quick and easy fiber-filled snack.
- Pumpkin fibers: Seeds make great fiber-filled snacks. My personal favorite is pumpkin seeds. Their seed pulp has fiber throughout. In South Florida they’re easy to get because specialty stores sell them as “pepitas.” Eat a handful a day.
- Unique yellow fiber source: Bananas have a type of fiber called inulin. This resists digestion from the small intestine and reaches the large intestine intact. That means bananas help slow digestion and make it much easier to process blood sugar completely so you don’t store fat.
- Ancient fiber secret: Fenugreek’s secret lies with a special nutrient found in only a few plants in the world. It’s called galactomannan, a type of soluble fiber that slows down the rate sugar gets absorbed into your blood.1 The seeds are 25% galactomannan. Fenugreek is heart healthy too. In one study, a gram of fenugreek per day lowered triglyceride levels and boosted HDL.2
- Ancient Italian fiber miracle: The seventh source of fiber is the “cannelloni” bean, or the white kidney bean. They have a special resistant fiber in them that preserves carbs as fiber so they don’t break down into fat.
How does it work? White kidney beans contain amylase inhibitors. They block the action of the enzyme amylase that digests carbs. The starch doesn’t get digested and passes through the body like fiber. It doesn’t spike blood sugar or insulin.
Resistant fiber also increases thermogenesis or fat-burning. In an Australian study, people switched just 5.4% of their starch intake to resistant fiber. For a full day afterwards they were able to burn 23% more fat.3
I’ll tell you more about this tomorrow. But for now, please remember the seven steps to getting more fiber. I hope they help you to have a healthier New Year!
To Your Good Health,
Al Sears, MD
1.Kassaian N, Azadbakht L, Forghani B, Amini M. “Effect of fenugreek seeds on blood glucose and lipid profiles in type 2 diabetic patients.” Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2009;79(1):34-9.
2. Gupta A, Gupta R, et al. “Effect of Trigonella foenum-graecum (fenugreek) seeds on glycemic control and insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes mellitus…” J Assoc Physicians India. 2001;49:1057-1061.
3. Higgins JA, Higbee DR, Donahoo WT, Brown IL, Bell ML, Bessesen DH. “Resistant Starch consumption promotes lipid oxidation.” Nutr Metab (Lond). 2004;1(1):8.