You may have heard that a plant-based diet or simply adding more plants to your meals can lead to weight loss. We're here to tell you, it's true!
Eat whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables daily if you're trying to lose weight. Do you know why? They're full of fiber! Fiber is found only in plant-based foods and has many health benefits. Below are five reasons why a high fiber, plant-based diet can help maintain a healthy weight.
Fiber can regulate blood sugar levels by maintaining the body’s fat burning capacity and avoiding spikes in the blood sugar. Swings in blood sugar levels can leave you feeling tired, drained and craving unhealthy foods. Balanced blood sugar can keep you full, energized and focused.
Fiber adds bulk to the diet. Bulk can help you feel full sooner and keep you full longer—being satisfied and full are key to losing weight.
Fiber stays in the stomach longer than other foods, which may help you eat less in meals to follow.
High fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables tend to be lower in calories (and higher in nutrients, making them nutrient-dense!). By adding fiber to the diet in the form of fruits and vegetables, you'll naturally reduce your caloric intake.
Eating plenty of fiber may move fat through the digestive system at a faster rate, meaning less fat may be absorbed.
There is an abundance of scientific evidence that shows an increase in dietary fiber intake can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and cancer. Meeting the recommended intake of fiber through adding more plant based foods has the potential to reduce the leading chronic diseases in the U.S. Aim for 14 grams of fiber per 1000 calories or 28 grams of fiber a day for women and 35 grams of fiber a day for men.
Here are some foods to help you easily boost your fiber intake!
Raspberries = 1 cup, 8 grams of fiber
Yummy! Raspberries are a great snack and full of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Collards, boiled = 1 cup, 8 grams of fiber
In addition to fiber, collards are high in potassium, vitamin A, vitamin K and vitamin C.
Spaghetti, whole wheat = 1 cup, 6 grams of fiber
Substituting whole wheat for white, processed spaghetti can be an easy way to boost fiber intake. Look for whole wheat or whole grain in the ingredient list when purchasing grains.
Lentils = 1 cup, 18 grams of fiber
Wow! That’s a lot of fiber. Lentils are versatile in any meal. Add them to stews, soups, salads or with rice.
Chia seeds = 1 ounce, 10 grams of fiber
Chia seeds can easily be added to salads, smoothies, oatmeal and more!
Almonds = 1 ounce, 3.5 grams of fiber
Almonds are an easy snack. Eat a handful for a quick and easy boost of energy!
Hello! My name is Caroline Williams and I am a dietetic intern in Georgia State's coordinated program. I am studying to become a registered dietitian with hopes to one day work in pediatric weight management. Weight management and choosing more plant based foods go hand in hand, so I have become increasingly interested in a plant-based lifestyle!