The Extreme Value of Protein and Fiber
Overweight individuals struggling to maintain healthy insulin function need high amounts of protein that is rich in branch chain amino acids, as well as higher amounts of soluble fiber. Both nutrients are needed beyond common levels of dietary recommendation, to prop up and stabilize the healthy function of insulin.
High quality whey protein is the easiest way to boost your intake of branch chain amino acids, and in particular the branch chain amino acid known as leucine. The highest sources of leucine-containing foods are animal and dairy sources. Cottage cheese and red meat top the list; other sources include milk, cheese, eggs, pork, fish, chicken, legumes, peanuts, nuts, and seeds. If you avoid red meat and dairy products, it harder it is to get leucine-containing foods in higher amounts though not impossible. Using whey protein makes it easy. I always recommend individuals stay away from processed soy protein (like soy protein drinks), as it is anti-thyroid in higher amounts.
Leucine directly communicates to insulin, instructing it to work efficiently in muscle. This not only helps preserve your muscle mass, it helps your muscles use glucose as fuel, in turn supporting healthy insulin function. Whey protein also helps leptin enter your brain more efficiently, supporting normal insulin function in your nervous system. For a more complete understanding of this topic, please few my feature-length news article: How Protein Helps Weight Management.
Soluble fiber is vital for slowing the rate at which calories enter your blood, thus enabling your insulin system to function with less stress. It also helps you maintain healthy levels of triglycerides and cholesterol. Individuals struggling with weight issues need 35 to 50 grams of fiber per day, much of it as soluble fiber.*
Most vegetables are a mix of insoluble and soluble fiber. The structural, tougher fibers are insoluble, whereas the pulpy parts are soluble. Fruits are mostly soluble fiber, unless you are eating the skins (like an apple skin which is insoluble). Other common soluble fibers include oat bran, oatmeal, barley, and legumes. Psyllium, a frequently used fiber supplement, is 70% soluble fiber and 10% insoluble fiber.
A serving of fruit or vegetables or a cup of oatmeal average about 4 grams of soluble fiber per serving. Legumes have about 8 grams of fiber per serving (avoid soy). It is really easy to get higher amounts of soluble fiber with high quality fiber drinks.
I have designed two specialty fiber supplements, Fiber Helper and LeptiFiber, both very high in soluble fiber (8-9 grams of soluble fiber per heaping tablespoon). Both supplements mix easily in water or a protein drink, do not gel up and gag you, have little taste, and have no added sweeteners of any kind. Our Daily Protein Plus smoothie mix has fine quality whey protein (21 grams) along with a serving of soluble fiber (4-5 grams), in each scoop.
Fiber Helper is comprised of Nutrim® oat bran, arabinogalactan fiber, and small particle psyllium seed husk. The oat and psyllium in this supplement qualify for the FDAs approved health claim, which is as follows:
Soluble fiber from foods such as oats and psyllium, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. A serving of Fiber Helper supplies .75 grams of the needed 3 grams of oat beta glucan soluble fiber from oats and 3.5 grams of the needed 7 grams of soluble fiber from psyllium necessary per day to have this affect. Thus, 1 serving provides 75% of the soluble fiber per day for this FDA approved health claim.
LeptiFiber is a combination of arabinogalactan fiber and partially hydrolyzed guar gum fiber another great soluble fiber source. It is very easy to mix and dissolves almost completely in water.
For an in depth explanation of dietary fiber please consult my feature-length article: Fiber, Leptin, and Weight Management.
Fiber Helper™ provides a great source of three different soluble fibers that help absorb toxic waste products like a sponge: oat beta glucan, psyllium, and arabinogalactan. Many people do not get enough fiber because they do not eat enough fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Adequate fiber is essential for your bowels to move well and the final elimination of toxins, as well as normal blood sugar and insulin response to a meal.*139 525 grams $41.00 $30.7525% off!
A high protein breakfast can significantly increase metabolic rate and help stabilize blood sugar levels. Daily Protein Plus™ contains the finest-quality whey protein available. It is produced using a ceramic filtration process to leave protein molecules undamaged. It also naturally contains branch chain amino acids that provide specific support for healthy insulin function in muscles. Whey protein is an ideal protein for metabolism (avoid soy protein - it may crash your thyroid).*50 2 lb. $49.00 $36.7525% off!