What is Fibre?
Fibre is a very important nutrient when it comes to burning fat. It’s a very complex form of carbohydrate made up non-starch polysaccharides, resistant starches, and/or cellulose.
The importance of adequate fibre in the diet rates as highly as protein, carbs or fats. There are two types of fibre sources that are available from food consumption.
These are soluble and insoluble.
Let’s firstly look at soluble fibre.
Soluble fibre is usually found in barley, beans and fruit. Once these foods are digested this source of fibre makes it way to the large intestine.
On arrival good bacteria use it as a fuel source and it causes the production of butyric and acetic acid, both of which help the digestive system maintain acidity. This is what is known as a prebiotic and is essentially food for your bacteria in the large intestines.
A consistent intake of soluble fibre has some notable key benefits.
The first of these benefits is that it stabilises blood sugar and slows gastric clearing. This encourages a more gradual breakdown of food and results in less fluctuations of blood sugar levels, which is what will keep your energy levels more stable.
For the health conscious, here is a fun fact.
Fermentation of soluble fibre results in lowered LDL levels and that fibre has the ability to bind with some of those nasty cancer-producing compounds and remove them from the body.
Now lets assess insoluble fibre.
Firstly, insoluble fibre doesn’t get digested anywhere. The role of insoluble fibre is to transport food and water through the digestive system.
You will find it within in grains and veggies.
The big difference between this and soluble fibre is that it doesn’t dissolve in water. This results in the fibre soaking up substance that eventually adds bulk to your stools.
The major benefits you receive from adequate insoluble fibre consumption is its ability to keep you regular, As mentioned it aids in the bulking of your stools, this ensures natural elimination runs smoothly.
With elimination it enables your body to sufficiently remove any toxic waste that may have been lingering. The problem with this toxicity is that it can cause problems that have the potential to severely halt your fat loss.
Hormones and toxins that are not passed out due to irregular bowel movements are actually reabsorbed placing more stress and load on the liver as it has to refuter all of these compounds.
Insoluble fibre binds with these toxins, and hormones that are eventually excreted through your stools. If you don’t regularly go to the bathroom i.e. 1-2 times per day re-absorption of the toxins into the bloodstream is more likely to be occurring.
I once met a girl who would go weeks between bowel movements, not exactly ideal for clearing the system of built up waste!
As you can see fibre is important to ensure that you’re body is running as a functional system. The best choices include psyllium husk, whole oats, rice bran, buckwheat, beans, and most fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables.
Most adults should aim for 30g a day minimum, though more is unlikely to have any major consequences.
Note: as a result of increasing fibre intake too fast you may experience a feeling of gassiness, being bloated and as a worst case scenario diarrhoea or constipation may arise if you don’t drink enough water!
To avoid this simply reduce fibre intake to a level that does not cause discomfort.
From here gradually increase intake as digestion improves.
As with anything whole foods are our first option however fibre may also be taken as a supplement.
We strongly recommend creating a fibre mix and rotating sources on a weekly basis.
For example you may do ground flax seeds one week and psyllium husk the next. This can be taken standalone first thing in the morning and after dinner at night. Or you could blend it into a protein shake, or smoothie, as this most fibre sources are really quite bland!
Fibre is critical to good health and belongs in every weight loss plan.
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