Supplemental Fiber Helps Lower Cholesterol and Boosts Weight Loss
Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist
A 12-week study compared four groups: the first group took 55 grams of psyllium fiber1 per day, the second group ate a healthy diet with 31 grams of fiber per day, the third group ate a healthy diet and added psyllium fiber totaling 59 grams of fiber per day, and the control group had 20 grams of fiber per day. The research showed that boosting fiber intake beyond the level found in a healthy diet offered a significant improvement in metabolic syndrome risk factors, with the best improvement seen by adding fiber to a healthy diet.
Since our government recommends 25 grams of fiber per day, many people who eat fruit, vegetables, and grains may not consider taking extra supplemental fiber. However, if those people are overweight then this study shows that supplemental fiber can be a significant help. Boosting fiber intake to twice the current government recommendations resulted in the highest amount of weight loss, plus a reduction in BMI, and drop in percentage of body fat.
The groups that used fiber supplements also experienced reductions in triglycerides, insulin, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol. This indicated improvement in heart related risks of the metabolic syndrome, and by definition, an improvement in leptin resistance. Adding supplemental fiber to the diet is a common sense tactic for any one who is trying to correct a weight problem and its adverse metabolic consequences. Getting 50 to 60 grams of fiber per day from a combination of foods and supplemental fiber is ideal.
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