The Natural Fat Blocker
We’re ready to spill the beans on the best kept secret in wellness. You're definitely going to want to make natural fiber the first priority on your plate! This article will cover why fiber is essential to healthy eating & weight loss. And we’ll zoom-in and focus on how natural fiber works in your body.
But if you'd rather LISTEN to this content:
Fiber keeps you feeling full and satisfied a lot longer. And this works because fiber quickly pushes against the walls of your stomach and it naturally activates the stretch receptors in your stomach. And that's what gives you that full belly feeling because fiber is literally pushing on the nerves in your stomach that send the signal to your brain to stop eating. So this means that you also feel full a lot faster too, and what's great is nothing else delivers that full belly message faster to the brain than natural fiber!
Fiber signals satiety and satisfaction. It works naturally with all the hormones that regulate the entire metabolic infrastructure, one of those hormones is called PYY. When you eat natural fiber, it quickly raises the level of PYY, which is a good thing. It's sending a signal to help you eat less, which means you're not likely to overeat.
Another way fiber helps to prevent overeating is that it stays in your digestive track and that's not true for protein, fat, or any other carb. That's why when you eat all three together, fiber, protein, and healthy fat, they all go to work together to keep you feeling full and satisfied a lot longer too.
This is where the actual substance comes into play; specifically the nutrient itself. Fiber provides valuable nutrients the body needs, and this circles back to our previous blog: “Which Diet Works Best”, where we talked about the fact that your body doesn't respond to the calories in food. The body responds to the substances in the food, and it's those substances that impact your body and ultimately determine your body weight.
Our body is naturally designed to signal and communicate to the brain to tell the brain what it needs. So when the body needs food, it works off of those substances that it's been eating. And then it sends a physical sensation to the brain. The body is looking for nutrition, specifically the nutrients that it needs for energy or building blocks and basic function and survival.
5 Key Macronutrients: Fiber, Protein, Fat, Carbs, & Water
Fiber is a carb, and yet it’s still listed as its own nutrient. And the reason why it's highlighted separately is because fiber performs a special job or function. It's the function of natural fiber that makes it unique and different from any other carb.
You need carbs for the energy that they provide to the body and you need fiber for the function that it performs inside your belly. The energy carbs are going to leave the digestive system, and they're going to travel into the bloodstream. Whereas fiber is the carb that stays behind and it keeps working and it eventually converts into waste.
Fiber hangs out in your stomach, but then it travels through your entire digestive tract. And its function or its job is to clear out the waste and basically move all that stuff through the digestive tract. Fiber works as a prebiotic, and it does this by feeding all the little friendly gut bacteria you have in your belly and digestive track. Which is what helps the hunger hormones to properly communicate and function. It also delays the release of the hunger stimulating hormone called ghrelin. Which means that it reduces your hunger and that's how it suppresses hunger for hours and truly works to satisfy your hunger too.
Natural fiber specifically helps to lower the glucose and insulin response to food because it creates a barrier to reduce the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.
You’ve probably noticed that I keep saying natural fiber, and I'm saying that for a reason.
Natural fiber is the only type of fiber that contains the two components that allow fiber to function properly: insoluble fiber & soluble fiber.
Insoluble means that it's not able to be dissolved. So when you're eating something with insoluble fiber, it's working to form a net like structure inside of your stomach and your digestive system. I imagine this like a beaver creating a dam. And your stomach's making up its own little net of protection from the walls of the plant cells. Things like the cellulose or the skeleton parts of the plant. Like the stringy stuff from celery husks, or the strings off of a banana pieces or corn shells or seeds shells from a bean, or even skins from peas and leafy bits of vegetables and lettuce and things. Those are all the parts that help to build that insoluble net.
Soluble fiber changes form once it's in water or once it hits the digestive system, into a sticky gel-like substance. The soluble fiber is working to form a gel or a jelly-like substance, and that's a protection, the consistency of petroleum jelly, that's lining your stomach and your intestines, and it's working to slow down the digestion and it's feeding those good gut bacteria in your colon.
So together the net of the insoluble fiber and the gel of the soluble fiber work together to slow down and try to stop the quick absorption of those energy, carbs, starch and sugar. It slows them down from hitting the bloodstream. Which is why, natural fiber is thought of as the fat blocker, because the glucose is released at a slower pace and that way the insulin can more properly distribute the energy and it won't as quickly store as fat.
Fiber improves the communication between the gut and the brain that drives your appetite or your need to eat. It's a primal drive, that message that the brain is getting from your belly. That's what ignites the food seeking behavior, and what happens is fiber literally goes to work to change that message that the belly is sending the brain. It does this by breaking the long chain fatty acids into short chain fatty acids. And it's those short chain fatty acids that help to make food less appealing. Which means that overall fiber works to reduce not only your cravings, it also lowers your drive to eat and it reduces your appetite too.