A diet not rich in fat and low in calories is considered an effective way to control one’s weight. However, a new study found that following a high soluble fiber diet may prevent weight gain.
The team of researchers from Georgia State University performed the experiment in the laboratory animals. They fed the mice a diet high in fiber and another diet lacking soluble fiber in order to determine the benefits of fiber rich diet in relation to lose weight.
The scientists fed mice a series of diets that varied in amounts of soluble and insoluble fiber, proteins and fat. They observed the impact of each diet on the intestines structure, gut bacteria, fat accumulation and weight gain.
The study revealed that mice on a diet lacking soluble fiber gained weight and had greater fat accumulation compared with mice fed a diet high in soluble fiber. In addition, the intestines of mice on fiber-deficient diet were shorter and had thinner walls. These structural differences were evident just two days after starting the diet.
Moreover, the investigators noted positive effects of adding soluble fiber among mice fed a high-fat diet. The introduction of soluble fiber restored the changes in gut structure. This improvement was due to changes in gut bacteria triggered by soluble fiber, which led to a greater production of short-chain fatty acids.
The study findings indicate that the addition of soluble fiber to a diet may promote good gut health and regulate weight by stimulating the production of short-chain fatty acids.
Soluble fiber helps to lower cholesterol, helps in digestion and regulate blood sugar. It works by absorbing water in the gut, forming a gel-like substance that can bind to cholesterol and bile acids, helping eliminate them from the body.
Soluble fiber rich foods include barley, beans, lentils, nuts, oat bran, peas, and seeds. It can also be found in certain fruits and vegetables, such as apples, blueberries and carrots. IMAGE/Shutterstock