Fiber is an important part of our daily diet and can be obtained easily from fruits and vegetables. It is currently recommended that we consume about 25 - 35 grams of fiber each day in order to obtain the many benefits of fiber. Unfortunately, it has been reported that less than half of us consume enough fiber. One way to increase our fiber intake is to add it to the beverages we drink. Many fiber supplements easily dissolve in liquids, making this a simple way to increase our fiber intake. A recent study on the impact of soluble fiber and appetite suggests that another benefit of soluble fiber might be its ability to make us feel fuller.
In this nutrition research study, study investigators examined the impact of four types of fiber on feelings of fullness (satiety) and energy intake at the next meal. For this study, 14 men and 22 women were enrolled and completed 6 study sessions. Study volunteers were asked to consume a solid snack with a liquid beverage in the mornings. This liquid beverage contained one of four different types of fiber: soluble fiber dextrin, soluble corn fiber, polydextrose, and resistant starch. The volunteers' feelings of fullness were measured every 20 minutes for 3 hours and 40 minutes after consumption of this snack and beverage. Study volunteers were then provided a noontime meal and the amount of food not eaten was measured. The study investigators reported that all four fibers and the control snack with a similar amount of calories increased feelings of fullness and less hunger compared to a snack with lower calorie levels. However, the researchers indicated that only the consumption of the soluble fiber dextrin resulted in a reduced calorie intake at the noontime meal.
This is an interesting study that suggests not all fibers are the same when it comes to their impact on our overall food consumption. While all four of the fibers tested helped the study subjects to feel full and reduced their hunger, only consumption of the dextrin fiber altered how much food the study subjects consumed. While many people use fiber supplements solely for the health benefits of fiber, some use fiber as a weight loss tool because of fiber's ability to reduce our hunger. While reducing hunger with fiber consumption can be a good weight loss tool, this study suggests that picking the right fiber might be necessary to obtain the full weight loss benefits of fiber. Since this was a small study of only a few adults, it will be necessary to confirm these results in a larger study. In the meantime, if you are considering adding fiber to your drinks in an attempt to lose weight, you might want to consider trying different forms of fiber to find what works best for you.
Aaron Tabor, MD
Diet, Anti-Aging, and Nutritional Cosmetic Expert
Author of Dr. Tabor’s Diet and FIGHT NOW.
Learn more about Dr. Tabor’s diet and anti-aging research at www.DrTabor.com.
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