Most of us could use more fiber. No, not the moral kind (for the most part)—dietary fiber. Especially if we're trying to lose weight: A new report published in the Annals of Internal Medicine suggests that simply incorporating more fiber into our eating regimen can help us shed pounds.
In the study, 240 participants were divided into two groups. One group followed American Heart Association’s recommended diet: "Consuming vegetables and fruits; eating whole grains and high-fiber foods; eating fish twice weekly; consuming lean animal and vegetable proteins; reducing intake of sugary beverages; minimizing sugar and sodium intake; and maintaining moderate to no alcohol intake." On top of being super complicated, the diet slashed participants' daily caloric intake by 500 to 1,000 calories. The other group skipped the theatrics and just added more fiber to their diet.
Over the course of a year, the participants on the AHA diet dropped roughly 6 pounds—and the high-fiber group lost about 4.6 pounds, just by eating more fibrous foods.
Want to eat more of the rough stuff? Foods high in fiber generally include fruit, legumes, whole grains, and some vegetables. The Mayo Clinic recommends that men aged 50 and younger consume 38 grams of fiber daily, and women in the same age group consume 25 grams. But not all fibrous foods are created equally. Take our fiber quiz and learn more!