If you have been struggling to lose weight for quite some time, you may want to pay attention to your diet more than anything else. According to the research published in the Journal Cell Host and Microbe, you should be paying more attention to the diet of your gut bacteria, as the scientists suggests that a fibre rich diet can influence weight gain, blood sugar levels and colon health. It is not just the calories that matter in a healthy diet, but the fibre that resists digestion by the body, however, is readily eaten by bacteria in the gut.

For the research, the team of scientists helped shed some light on how and why fibre has such a powerful effect on the entire body, using mice. “Once the mechanism is understood, it can be exploited in different ways to promote health,” said Andrew Gewirtz, from Georgia State University in the US. “This will allow ways to modify diets to maximise those benefits,” Gewirtz said.

Fibre in its various forms is found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and even whole grains. So-called western diets that are high in fat and sugars but low in fibre have long been associated with an increased risk of inflammatory bowel diseases, weight gain and diabetes.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that the average person’s fibre intake in a Western country has drastically reduced over the past few decades,” said Fredrik Backhed, from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.

The study started by feeding a group of mice a diet that was quite low in fibre. As a result, the low fibre diets rapidly led to weight gain, high blood sugar levels and insulin resistance in the mice. The study also found that mice developed problems with the protective mucus layer in the colon just after three to seven days of eating low-fibre diet.

Simply enriching processed food with purified fibres might offer some health benefits. However, researchers still need to understand more of the very complex interplay between food, bacteria and host.

Source: NDTV Foods

WHAT IS FIBRE IN FOOD?

Fibre or Fiber is the indigestible parts of plant foods, such as vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and legumes. It is type of a carbohydrate that helps keep our digestive systems healthy.

There are (3) three different types of fibre which all have different functions and health benefits.

•Soluble Fibre
• Insoluble Fibre
• Resistant Starch

– Soluble fibre helps to slow the emptying process in our stomachs, which helps you feel fuller. It also helps to lower cholesterol and stabilise your blood glucose levels.
Soluble fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, oats, barley and legumes.

– Insoluble fibre absorbs water to help to soften the contents of our bowels and support regular bowel movements. It also helps to keep us full and keep the bowel environment healthy.
Insoluble fibre is found in whole-grain breads and cereals, nuts, seeds, wheat bran and the skin of fruit and vegetables.

– Resistant starch is not digested in the small intestine and instead proceeds to the large intestine where it can assist in the production of good bacteria and improves bowel health.
Resisitant starch is found in undercooked pasta, under ripe bananas, cooked and cooled potato and rice.

Dietary fibre is important for our digestive health and regular bowel movements.
Fibre also helps you feel fuller for longer, can improve cholesterol and blood sugar levels and can assist in preventing some diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer. -Nutrition Australia-

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