Dietary Fibre & 8 Health Benefits, A 1-Stop Weight Loss Solution
Image Credit: Pexels

Whether you are new to joining the weight loss brigade or have been at it for a while, there is one thing you must understand: there is no single magic ingredient that can speed up your weight loss process. And yet, there does exist a single nutrient that comes in many avatars, and the inclusion of this one can indeed help you with long-term weight loss diets. We are talking, of course, about dietary fibre, which can easily become your one-stop solution to weight loss woes. 

In case you didn’t know, dietary fibre, also known as roughage or bulk, is a type of carbohydrate found in plant-based foods that the human body cannot digest or absorb. Unlike other carbohydrates (such as sugars and starches), fibre passes through the digestive system relatively intact and is excreted from the body. “This one nutrient can help you manage your weight, manage diabetes, reduce bad cholesterol, prevent constipation, keep your heart healthy, and improve your gut health,” says nutritionist Amita Gadre on social media.  

“An important thing to remember is that we get dietary fibre only from plant sources,” she adds. “Mind you, meat, eggs, chicken, milk do not contain any dietary fibre. The best source of dietary fibre is legumes like chickpeas, kidney beans, whole moong, black eyed peas. The next best source is oats, quinoa, then you have seeds like flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and lastly come fruits, vegetables, whole grains. Fruits and vegetables are mostly made of water, that is why they are not as fibre dense as legumes and grains.”  

Video Credit: YouTube/Inspired Taste

Wondering how exactly does dietary fibre help weight loss? Here are eight healthy benefits of consuming dietary fibre that can also improve your chances of long-term weight loss. 

1. Increased Satiety: Foods high in fibre tend to be more filling, which can help you feel satisfied with smaller portions. The fibre expands in your stomach, slowing down the digestion process and promoting a sense of fullness, reducing the likelihood of overeating. 

2. Reduced Calorie Intake: High-fibre foods often have fewer calories for the same volume compared to low-fibre foods. By choosing fibre-rich options, you can enjoy larger portions while still consuming fewer calories. 

3. Better Blood Sugar Control: Fibre slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, leading to a gradual and steady release of glucose into the bloodstream. This helps regulate blood sugar levels and prevents spikes and crashes that can trigger hunger and cravings. 

4. Lower Energy Density: Many high-fibre foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, have a lower energy density, meaning they provide fewer calories per gram. This allows you to eat more volume of food without consuming excessive calories. 

5. Improved Gut Health: Fibre promotes a healthy gut by nourishing beneficial gut bacteria. A healthy gut microbiome has been associated with better weight management and reduced risk of obesity. 

6. Enhanced Digestion And Bowel Regularity: Fibre helps maintain proper bowel movements and prevents constipation. A healthy digestive system ensures that your body is functioning optimally, which can positively impact weight loss efforts. 

7. Reduced Dietary Fat Absorption: Certain types of dietary fibre can bind to dietary fats, limiting their absorption and ultimately reducing the number of calories your body absorbs from the food. 

8. Long-Term Weight Loss: A diet high in fibre has been linked to better long-term weight management and a lower risk of weight regain after weight loss. 


Sources Of Dietary Fibre For Indians 

As Gadre mentions, there are several traditional and readily available sources of dietary fibre available in India that can be easily incorporated into their diet. Including a variety of these fibre-rich foods can help meet daily fibre needs and contribute to overall health. Here are some of the best sources of dietary fibre for Indians: 

Whole Grains: Whole grains are an excellent source of fibre and other essential nutrients. Traditional Indian grains such as wheat, barley, oats, brown rice, millets (like ragi, jowar, and bajra), and quinoa are rich in fibre. Replace refined grains with whole grains to boost your fibre intake. 

Lentils and Pulses: Lentils (dal) and pulses like chickpeas (chana), kidney beans (rajma), black-eyed peas (lobia), and green grams (moong) are high in fibre and protein. They are staple ingredients in Indian cuisine and can be used in various curries, salads, and soups. 

Vegetables: Many Indian vegetables are rich in fibre. Some fibre-packed choices include spinach (palak), broccoli, cauliflower, green beans (French beans), carrots, sweet potatoes, and bottle gourd (lauki). Incorporate green leafy vegetables like spinach, fenugreek leaves (methi), and amaranth leaves (chaulai) into your meals to increase fibre intake. 

Fruits: Fruits are a great source of dietary fibre. Opt for fruits like guava, apples, oranges, papaya, pears, bananas, and mangoes. Remember to eat the whole fruit instead of fruit juices to retain the fibre content. 

Nuts and Seeds: Nuts like almonds, walnuts, and seeds like flaxseeds and chia seeds are high in fibre, healthy fats, and other essential nutrients. Sprinkle them on salads, yogurt, or smoothies for an added fibre boost. 

Psyllium Husk (Isabgol): Psyllium husk is a common dietary supplement known for its high fibre content. It can be added to water, yogurt, or buttermilk for easy consumption.