Did you know that weight gain, an excessive appetite, high cholesterol, high blood sugars, heart disease, and diabetes have a common nutritional deficiency? The deficiency is present in over 90% of Americans and is related to fiber. It is a true epidemic, and almost every American is a victim! High fiber foods like oat bran, beans, rice bran, barley, citrus fruits, and berries tend not to be daily foods for most Americans, and that has created a problem. The message is that…
Fiber is truly a “Power Factor” to be trim and healthy and to have a controlled appetite.
Fixing fiber deficiency requires a plan, but it is worth it! Fiber’s impact on health became clear in the 1980’s. Since then, my goals have been to determine which fibers give maximum weight loss and health improvements, and how we can get those fibers in a tasty, convenient manner.
In general, it is the peculiar “gel-forming” fibers that give the most remarkable health benefits. These unusual fibers form a thick gel when mixed with water and have been the subject of fascinating research. Two of the most powerful gel-forming fibers are guar gum and glucomannan.
There are 5 reasons I recommend these powerful gel-forming fibers as a daily routine. Here they are:
Reason #1: Weight loss and weight maintenance.
Gel-forming fibers act as a natural appetite suppressant, helping control hunger and cravings. Research studies using the gel-forming guar gum fiber revealed that it “reduced hunger… and body-weight was significantly reduced… even though the patients were asked to maintain their normal dietary habits.”1 How cool is that? No diet needed, just add guar gum fiber in the proper amount and hunger decreases leading to weight loss! Another study showed that “non-dieting women” lost 9.4 lbs of weight in 2 months with guar gum fiber before lunch and supper.2
Other studies using glucomannan are even more impressive. With smaller amounts of glucomannan (as a fiber blend with common psyllium), weight loss was 5.7 times greater than the same diet without the fiber (10 lbs of weight loss in 16 weeks vs 1.7 lbs.) 8 Would you like to increase your weight loss by 470% the next time you lose weight?
In addition to the appetite effect, these fibers can actually “trap” food calories in the intestine. Some fat and carbohydrate calories (~7 calories per gram of fiber) travel through the body undigested and are actually eliminated from the body! This effect also supports weight loss efforts.
Reason #2: Lower cholesterol.
One study showed a 16.6% reduction in total cholesterol and a 25.6% reduction in the bad LDL cholesterol with guar gum fiber. Also, triglycerides in the blood have been reduced by 23% with glucomannan fiber.3 4 Pectin is a third gel-forming fiber that binds to cholesterol in the intestine.
Reason #3: Lower blood sugar levels.
Reason #4: Lifespan may increase.
People tend to live longer with more fiber. Those getting the most fiber have a 22% lower risk of death over a 9 year period compared to those getting low amounts of fiber. Risks tend to be lower for heart disease, cancer, lung disease, and infections.
Reason #5: Intestinal health improves.
We all know that fiber is important to keep the intestines healthy, to avoid things like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, hiatal hernia, and diverticulitis. Fiber also acts as a food for healthy bacteria, increasing the numbers of good bacteria (bifidobacterium) in the colon. Those good bacteria have many health-promoting effects.
Our Fiber Challenge:
We are busy and common U.S. foods do not have much fiber. Eating 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables is ideal, but a challenge for busy people. It’s why Americans tend to get less than half the recommended fiber. Consuming more high fiber foods is part of the solution. However, as explained in one medical journal, “Increasing food intake may not be ideal because of calorie increases (fruit, grains, legumes).” In other words, consuming more food, and therefore calories, may offset some of the benefit of the fiber.7 Most of us will still fall short on fiber, especially of the important gel-forming fibers that support lower weight, lower blood sugar, and lower cholesterol.
Fiber supplements are often more convenient and preferred as a source of concentrated fiber without added food calories. Gel-forming fibers with good research include glucomannan, guar gum, inulin, pectin, and soy fiber. These are not common in our foods, and by themselves, they aren’t very tasty.
Several years ago, after finding no suitable solution on the market, I developed a formulation called Satisfy that combines the gel-forming fibers of glucomannan, guar gum, and pectin in a cherry lemonade flavored powder that can be mixed with water. It is designed to taste great and to deliver research-based amounts powerful, thickening, gel-forming fibers.
Consuming at least 25 grams of fiber each day is a top priority if you want to be trim and healthy. Americans average less than half that amount at ~11 grams per day. Here are 3 important facts about fiber:
- Lean people eat about 50% more fiber than those who are obese!
- Fiber intake is a key to preventing common deadly diseases.
- Experts recommend at least 25 grams of fiber daily for obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
Make fiber a nutrition priority. Eat your 7-10 servings of fruit and vegetables daily. Try to get 25 grams of fiber per day. Consider a fiber supplement of gel-forming fibers, like Satisfy. One serving daily, with 5 grams of fiber, is enough to increase fiber intake of the average American by 50%. Two servings may get you to your 25 gram goal.
For best results, I recommend Satisfy fiber twice daily, with lunch and supper, as a convenient and tasty way to get an extra 10 grams of fiber daily, especially for those needing support for weight control, appetite control, or maintaining a normal cholesterol and blood sugar. If not Satisfy, find an alternative and make it a daily priority. Fiber is too important to ignore.
And remember, Optimum Health is ALWAYS worth the effort.
For Optimum Health,
Rick Tague, M.D., M.P.H.
P.S. Consult with your physician for specific recommendations. The information above is my opinion based on available research. Satisfy Fiber is the option I recommend for our patients seeking weight loss, diabetes control, appetite control, or a lower cholesterol.
1. Br J Nutr (1984 Jul) 52(1):97-105.↩
2. Obesity Research Update, December 1996.↩
3. Am J Clin Nutr (1981 Nov) 34 (11):2446-9.↩
4. Am J Clin Nutr 1995 Mar;61↩
5. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 83 (2009) e40-e42↩
6. J of Am C of Nutr 2003, vol 22, no 1, 36↩
7. Can Family Physician 2009 March;55(3):257↩
8. Br J Nutr (2008 Jun);99(6):1380-7↩