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"Do high fiber diets help with weight loss?"


My husband, who's 38, is very overweight. One of his friends is recommending a high-fiber diet to help my husband's weight loss, but I'm not sure it's a good idea. Can a high-fiber diet really help someone lose weight?


For patients who are overweight, having a good relationship with your primary care doctor is important. There are numerous obesity related illnesses and weight loss strategies that your doctor can help you with, so I would encourage you to contact him or her. As for a high fiber diet, it can certainly help weight loss.

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In general, while there are many diet strategies out there, the key factor that regulates weight loss is caloric intake. That is, quite simply, eating less helps lose weight. The popularized diets of eating all protein or no carbohydrates only work because at the end of the day people eat a lower number of total calories. In theory, a high fiber diet (with beans, grains, vegetables and fruits) would work in a similar fashion. However, if your plan is to eat your regular diet and then take fiber supplements, that will likely not work. Fiber in general is good for digestive health. It is a substance that out body cannot break down and absorb and therefore helps keep our bowel movements regular. In addition, other types of fiber (known as soluble fiber) can help with risk for heart disease and diabetes. In general, nutrition experts recommend men take greater than 30 grams of fiber a day. A high fiber diet would be helpful for weight loss and overall health. However it alone may not help you achieve your weight loss goals. Seeing your primary doctor who can put you in touch with a dietitian or nutritionist would be helpful to create and effective and safe weight loss plan.

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